Helen Keller was an exceptional woman, who, despite being both blind and deaf, became one of the leading humanitarians of the 20th century. Thanks to the efforts of her teacher, Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller managed to learn to communicate with people.
Facts about Helen Keller
- Helen Keller was born with eye sight and hearing – she said her first words before the age of one, but became deaf, blind and mute at 19 months after a illness that doctors today think may have been meningitis or scarlet fever.
- Although Helen only learned to spell from Anne Sullivan, she could communicate with the cook’s daughter. By the time she was seven, she had 60 signs with which she communicated with her family.
- Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, was the person who arranged for Anne Sullivan to become Keller’s teacher after her parents went to see him, worried about her violent temper tantrums.
- Helen Keller’s father, Arthur H. Keller, was an editor and served as a captain in the Confederate army.
- Anne Sullivan remained with Helen Keller for 49 years.
- The first word Helen learned to spell was “w-a-t-e-r” after Anne held her hands under running water at a well-pump. By the end of that day, she knew 30 new words.
- Within 6 months after her breakthrough, Keller knew 625 words
- By 16 years of age, Helen could not only read Braille, use the typewriter and write, but she could speak fluently enough to go to college. She graduated from Radcliffe College, “cum laude” in 1904
- Helen Keller travelled around the world, giving lectures in 25 different countries over 5 continents, inspiring blind and deaf people everywhere she went.
- Keller met every U.S. president of her time.
- Keller was one of the founders of the American Civil Liberties Union.
- Keller was known as a left radical of her time – she belonged to the Socialist Party.
- Keller could communicate with people by touching their lips with her hands when they speak or by reading sign language through touch.
- Keller had two glass eyes in adulthood.
- Helen Keller was the first deaf-blind person to write a book, and published 14 books during her life.
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