What do you know about Helen Keller’s Biography? In this article, you’ll learn about the American-born author and political activist who mysteriously became blind as an infant. And how without eyes, she saw things and conquered and left a legacy. And over five decades, her name— Helen Adams Keller (full name) —remains a household name on the lips of Americans.
Who was Helen Keller?
Helen Keller was a blind renowned female American writer. She was born on June 27, 1880, in Tuscumbia, Alabama, United States.
Nineteen months after birth, Helen Keller got plagued by an ailment that eventually shut her eyes and ears. An infirmity whose cause seemed mysterious to medical experts; it was allegedly considered to be “Scarlet fever.”
Helen Keller’s Biography—and her education
She spent two years (1888-1990) at Perkins institute of learning Braille. But later, in slow progression, Keller learned how to speak. That’s under Sarah Fuller at the Horace Mann School in Boston.
She would lip-read what someone was saying by placing her fingers on the lips and throat of the speaker. But by age 16, Cambridge school for young ladies in Massachusetts admitted her. In 1900, she gained admission to Radcliffe College.
And by 1904, she was done with the program and therefore graduated cum laude.
Helen Keller’s Biography; Blind but visionary
Now with developed skills, more than anyone facing the same challenge, Keller began writing. But she started with the subject of blindness, which most women’s magazines considered taboo.
But soon, her articles got accepted by Edward W. Bok for the Ladies Home Journal. Then followed by other major magazines—like McClure, the Century, etc.
Helen Keller’s Biography: How she started lecturing
With the aid of an interpreter, Keller began lecturing in 1913 for the American Foundation for the blind. For decades, through this engagement, Keller traveled to different parts of the United States and tens of countries around the globe.
Helen Keller’s Biography reflects her passion for humanity. Thus, she fought for the interest of those who suffered the loss of vision. Even if it would cost her last blood and breathe.
Also, she participated in campaigns for the interest of disabled people, world peace, and other issues that concern the good of humanity.
Aside from a career in lecturing, Keller was a prolific writer. Helen Keller’s Biography is reflected in her writing. Ranging from speeches and essays to books.
Helen Keller’s Biography and Books Written by her
Authoring books was one of the things that made Helen Keller’s biography a must-read. For everyone. Aren’t you amazed at how a blind person can give sight to others through her books? The following are the works of Helen Keller:
- The story of my life (1903)
- Optimism (1903)
- The world I live in (1908)
- Light in my darkness (1927)
- My religion (1927)
- Helen Keller’s Journal (1938)
- The open door (1957)
Helen Keller’s Biography Filmed in a play
Her early childhood experience and how she got trained by Anne Sullivan got filmed in a play. And its title “The Miracle Worker,” was produced by William Gibson in 1959.
The movie went on to win the Pulitzer Prize the following year. And afterward, in 1962, it was created in motion pictures. And that was another hit that earned two academy awards.
Family background: Helen Keller’s Biography
Keller was born to a father with more than one wife, and his name was Arthur Henley Keller. He was part of the confederate army during the civil war. On the other hand, the name of Keller’s mother is Catherine Everett (Adams) Keller.
Four siblings of Helen Keller
Two of Helen Keller’s siblings were full— that’s they were born by both the same father and mother. And their names are Mildred Campbell (Keller) Tyson and Philip Brooks Keller.
While the other two include both James McDonald Keller and William Simpson Keller. And they both were born by the other wife of Henley Keller, their father.
Helen Keller’s Biography: Her parents sought for help
Keller’s mother, Catherine Everett (Adams) Keller, came across an inspiring story in a Travelogue in 1886. That’s American notes by Charles Dickens. And the account she read was about a deaf and blind woman, Laura Bridgman, who got educated despite her deformities.
Inspired by the story, Catherine Keller felt there should be a way for Keller too, who was about 6 years of age. She wanted their daughter to live a meaningful life. Thus, she discussed this with her husband, Henley.
So Henley took Helen Keller to Baltimore to get medical advice from J. Julian Chisholm.
At the end of the consultation session, Julian referred them to Alexander Bell, who had expertise and experience in dealing with children with similar impairments that Helen Keller was living with.
And in an attempt to find a befitting solution, Bell contacted Perkins institute for the blind— the school where Bridgman had received her education— whom Keller’s mother read in the American notes.
And consequently, the management of the school, through its director, at the time, Michael Anagnos, sent Anne Sullivan, a visually impaired young lady yet special educator, to serve as Helen’s instructor.
Helen Keller’s biography: Her Later life
Keller spent the remaining years of her life at home. That was after multiple strokes in 1961. But that didn’t stop the achievement and award Heller got afterward.
President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded her one of the two highest civilian honors on September 14, 1964. That’s the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Also, at the New York World Fair in 1965, Helen Keller got elected to the National Women’s Hall of fame. And interestingly, she also committed the latter part of her life to fundraising for the American Foundation for the blind.
Anne Sullivan; a special figure in Helen Keller’s Biography
Communication was a real issue for Keller from infancy until Anne came to their home on March 5, 1887.
But back then, she often had conversations with Martha Washington, the two-year-old daughter of their family cook, who was the only one that understood her communication a bit.
As a young girl, she went through the frustration that she couldn’t voice. Let alone pour out her deepest fear over her inability to see and talk.
Anne Sullivan no doubt played a significant role in the life of Helen Keller. She remained with Keller for 49 years until death tainted the relationship. On October 20, 1936, Sullivan died in her house in Forest Hills, New York.
That was after she had battled chronic health challenges from her resurfaced eye issue– leading to the removal of her right eye.
Shocking Facts about Helen Keller’s Biography
1. An illness mysteriously rendered her blind and deaf for the rest of her life.
2. Keller was the only child of her parents that became inexplicably disabled nineteen months after birth.
And a couple of days after the mysterious fever (labeled as Scarlet Fever) that took her sight and hearing ability struck, she couldn’t respond to the bell sound for dinner. Also Keller didn’t react when they waved their hands in front of her. And her mum was the first to notice that.
3. Helen battled anger issues right from childhood
As a little girl, she was frustrated with her life. And daily, she would exhibit different kinds of behavior, showing her deep anger.
She would scream unnecessarily and kick things… and family members began to suggest that she should be institutionalized.
4. She became the first blind and deaf fellow to graduate and gain massive popularity within and outside America.
5. She never married the love of her life
At age 36, Helen was seriously in love with Peter Fagan, a man who worked as a secretary, yet was a former newspaper reporter.
They both had secretly gotten a marriage license. But Keller’s family detested that idea and halted that arrangement upon realizing it.
However, there are a few other interesting facts about Keller, the blind American Author and educator.
Helen Keller’s Biography & Quotes
How would one talk about Helen Keller’s biography without considering some of the powerful and deep life lessons she learned from over 80 years on earth? They will benefit you— go through them carefully.
- “Literature is my Utopia” ― Helen Keller
- “The highest result of education is tolerance” ― Helen Keller
- “When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” ― Helen Keller
- “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” ― Helen Keller, The Open Door
- There is no better way to thank God for your sight than by giving a helping hand to someone in the dark. ― Helen Keller, Light in My Darkness
- “Keep your face to the sun, and you will never see the shadows.”― Helen Keller
Other Famous quotes of Helen Keller
- “The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but no vision.” ― Helen Keller’
- “A bend in the road is not the end of the road…Unless you fail to make the turn.”― Helen Keller
- “Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them, but do not let them master you. Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight.” ― Helen Keller
- “When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life or the life of another.” ― Helen Keller
- It is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil. If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui. ― Helen Keller, The Story of My Life
- We are never really happy until we try to brighten the lives of others. ― Helen Keller
- I believe humility is a virtue, but I prefer not to use it unless it is absolutely necessary― Helen Keller
- Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose. ― Helen Keller
Helen Keller’s Biography; Her Death left the World in Shock
It all happened on June 1, 1968. Helen Keller’s heroic life came to an end, as she died a few weeks into her eighty-eight birthday at her home, situated in Arcane Ridge Easton, Connecticut.
And in honor of her, a tributary service was held at Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. And there Keller’s body was incinerated and ashes were buried close to Anne Sullivan, her demised teacher.
You may also want to read about the thrilling biography of the man born without arms and legs.
Summary of Helen Keller’s Biography
The table below summarizes the biography of Helen Keller. That’s to say, it contains essential facts and information about the life story of one of the most influential female Americans in the 20th century, without sight and ability to hear.
Question about Helen Keller
Helen Keller full name
|Helen Adams Keller|
Where was Helen Keller born?
|West Tuscumbia, Alabama|
Date of Birth
|June 27, 1880|
Helen Keller parents
|Father— Arthur Henley Keller
Mother— Catherine Everett (Adams) Keller
Helen Keller siblings
| Mildred Campbell (Keller) Tyson
Philip Brooks Keller
James McDonald Keller
William Simpson Keller
Helen Keller nationality
|Alabama, United States|
Helen Keller husband
|Never got married|
Where and When did Helen Keller died?
|Easton, Connecticut (June 1, 1968)|
Helen Keller career
|Author, Lecturing, and political activist|
Helen Keller’s education
|Radcliffe College (BA)
Helen Keller writings
|The Story of my life (1903)|
Helen Keller’s teacher
Awards and Honors of Helen Keller
|Presidential Medal of Freedom.
National Women’s Hall of fame
|Blindness and deafness|
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What major lesson did you learn from Helen Keller’s biography?