American Writer and Lecturer
1880 – 1968 A.D.
Helen Adams Keller, an American writer and lecturer, blind and deaf from infancy, as a result of scarlet fever. In her eighth year she was placed under the care of Anne M. Sullivan, who remained with Miss Keller indefinitely as companion and teacher. Her progress was remarkable. When she learned to read and write and to use the finger alphabet, she determined that she would learn to speak, and in less than a month she was able to talk intelligently.
After study for some years, she entered Radcliffe College in 1900 and graduated in 1904. Having later served on the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind and on the committees of various societies for the blind, she became widely known as a lecturer and writer of her own experiences and of the possibilities of a rich intellectual life for the deaf and blind. Her ideas were eloquently voice in her autobiography, The Story of my Life, with her letters, 1887 – 1901, and a supplementary account of her education (New York, 1903). Her other writings include: Optimism, The World I live in, The Song of the Stone Wall, Out of the Dark.
After a visit to Miss Keller, Madame Maeterlinck (Georgette Leblanc) wrote The Girl Who Found the Bluebird (New York, 1914), in which she says,
“Her life seems to me to be a sublime lesson. She is a primitive saint and a saint of tomorrow! She is the archangel of the victories that are eternal and the virtues that do not change with moral systems or with peoples. Be happy, Helen, and be free, for you have proved that there is real prison save in mediocrity, that in darkness which has no ending is the darkness of the mind that mortal silence reigns only in loveless hearts.”
Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.