Who Was Hellen Keller?


Quick Answer

Helen Keller was an author, educator, journalist, activist and lecturer. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. She also helped establish the American Civil Liberties Union in 1920.

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Full Answer

Helen Keller was born June 27, 1880, with the ability to see and hear, and she started talking at 6 months old. When she was 18 months old, she got sick with something doctors at the time called "brain fever" and lost her sight and hearing. In 1887, an educator named Anne Sullivan began to work with Keller, and they worked together for 49 years. Sullivan taught Keller finger spelling, beginning with the word "doll." Keller began classes at Horace Mann School for the Deaf in 1890 and attended the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf in New York City from 1894 to 1896.

She attended the Cambridge School for Young Ladies in 1896. She later attended Radcliff College accompanied by Anne Sullivan, who helped her by interpreting lectures and books, and she graduated cum laude in 1904. She was proficient in many communication methods, including touch-lip reading, typing and finger spelling, speech, and Braille. She wrote many articles and 12 books. She was a member of the Socialist Party and spoke out on political and social issues, such as women's suffrage, pacifism and birth control.

She spoke before Congress on the issue of improving the welfare of blind people.

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