Helen Keller

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Helen Keller was born on June 27 1880 in Alabama. When she was 19 months old Helen was struck with a fever and became both deaf and blind. The lively child changed into a little wild 'animal' who terrorised the people around her.

In 1887, her parents, Arthur H. Keller and Kate Adams Keller, finally contacted Alexander Graham Bell, who worked with deaf children. He advised them to contact the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachussetts. They delegated the teacher Anne Sullivan, who was then only 20 years old, to try to open up Helen's mind. It was the beginning of a 49-year period of working together.

Anne was able to teach Helen to think intelligibly and to speak, using the Tadoma method: touching the lips of others as they spoke, feeling the vibrations, and spelling of alphabethical characters in the palm of Helen's hand. When Helen was 24 she graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College, where Anne Sullivan had translated every word in her hand. With tremendous will power Helen went on to become a world famous speaker and author. She made it her own life's mission to fight for the sensorial handicapped in the world.

Helen Keller was a member of the socialist party and actively campaigned and wrote in support of the working classes from 1909 to 1921. She favored revolutionary socialism, as opposed to the reformist socialism later adopted by the socialist party.

In 1960 her book Light in my Darkness was published in which she advocated the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg.

Helen Keller died on June 1, 1968.