Learn more about Helen Keller. Ernie Kyger, Van Metre’s lifestyle blogger, explores the story of Helen Keller and how she became a spokesperson for civil rights.
- Helen Keller, was born in Alabama in 1880 as a healthy baby.
- At the age of 18 months, she caught a fever that left her blind and without hearing.
- Helen’s parents were well off, and they contacted the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston. The director suggested a former student named Annie Sullivan.
- Sullivan had been blind as well, but her eyesight was restored by surgery. She came to work with Helen on March 3, 1887 and would be her helper and companion for the next 50 years.
- It was a struggle at first for both teacher and student, but then a breakthrough occurred.
- Helen learned to read Braille and graduated Radcliffe College in 1904.
- She wrote books, gave lectures, became a spokesperson for civil rights and even visited with soldiers during World War 2.
- Helen met with every President of the United States from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon Johnson. Two films about Helen won Academy Awards. One was a documentary called The Unconquered (1954) and the other was a drama called The Miracle Worker (1962) starring Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke.