Helen Keller (1880-1968) was an American author, lecturer, and political activist. Helen was the first deaf-blind person to earn a college degree.
Before she was two years old, Helen contracted an illness that left her blind and deaf. She described her life before knowing words as being like a ship “at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut [her] in…and [she] waited with beating heart for something to happen…”
When Helen was six years old, her parents hired Anne Sullivan, a graduate of Perkins Institute for the Death and Blind, to become Helen’s teacher. Anne, who was partially blind herself, taught Helen words—both spelling and meaning.
Helen went on to author many books, essays, and letters. She wrote about her childhood and college experiences, her perception of the world, her political views and religion. She became a speaker who advocated rights for women, the poor, and individuals who were blind and/or deaf. She was also a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award.
Helen inspired many others to pursue higher education, such as Robert Smithdas (1925-still living!) who is the first deaf-blind person to earn a masters degree.
“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” ~Helen Keller
Does Helen Keller inspire you?