Culture Links

Culture Trunk icon



Helen Adams Keller

Helen KellerHelen Adams Keller was born on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, northwest Alabama. In February 1882, when she was 19 months old, Helen fell ill. For many days her doctors believed that she was going to die. Helen became deaf and blind because of the high fever she had.

Helen's parents loved her very much, but let her do whatever she wanted. She was like a wild animal. Her parents wanted her to learn and hired Annie Sullivan to be her teacher.

Annie worked with her for weeks. She fingerspelled words in Helen's hand to teach her the names of things. Annie was also very strict with Helen and didn't let Helen do whatever she wanted. This made Helen furious and she had many temper tantrums.

One day, while pumping water into a pitcher, Annie was spelling the word 'water' to Helen. The water spilled on Helen's hands and she finally understood. This event opened Helen's mind to a life of learning.

Helen went to Cambridge School for Young Ladies in 1896. In the autumn of 1900 she enrolled in Radcliffe College. Entering this college was a huge success. She was the first deaf-blind person to enroll in an institution of higher learning. She graduated in June 28,1904, with a bachelor of arts degree.

The stage drama "The Miracle Worker", was based on her life. Later it was made into a film which won Oscar awards in 1962. She received an Oscar as well.

Helen died on June 1st, 1968. If Helen Keller lived into today's society her life would be very, very different. Her life would be very different due to today's new technology.