Helen Keller, born in 1880, cofounded the American Civil Liberties Union. Two years after she was born, Keller became deaf, blind and mute due to illness that caused her body to have a high temperature. She died in 1968, following a life of social activism.Continue Reading
Helen Keller overcame her loss of sight, hearing and speech with the help of Anne Sullivan. In 1887, Sullivan was recommended to her family by Alexander Graham Bell and worked with Keller for the next 49 years. In 1890, Keller began formal speech classes at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf in Boston. She also graduated from Radcliffe College in 1904.
Following college, Keller became involved with the Socialist Party. Following the announcement of her involvement, press support for her decreased.
Keller took a leadership role in a number of organizations in her lifetime, including the American Foundation of Overseas Blind, Helen Keller International and the Permanent Blind War Relief Fund.
In 1955, she traveled for 55 days in Asia, giving speeches and making public appearances. From 1946 to 1957 she made trips to 35 countries, inspiring millions of people with her story. Keller's autobiography, "The Story Of My Life," was adapted in 1957 into the television show, "The Miracle Worker," and later a stage play and film of the same name.Learn more about US History