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Women of the Hall

Year Honored: 1973
Birth: 1880 - Death: 1968
Born In: Alabama,
Died In: Connecticut,
Achievements: Education
Educated In: Massachusetts, New York
Schools Attended: Perkins School for the Blind, Wright-Humason School for the Deaf, Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Cambridge School for Young Ladies, Radcliffe College
Worked In: Massachusetts, New York

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Helen Keller

When she was nineteen months old, an illness left Helen deaf, blind, and mute.

Though a wild, destructive child, she showed such signs of intelligence that her mother sent for a special teacher. The teacher, young Anne Sullivan, herself formerly blind, managed to break through to communicate with Helen. The child loved to learn, and her remarkable achievements in reading, writing and even speaking soon made her internationally famous.

Helen earned a bachelor's degree from Radcliffe College, where Anne Sullivan accompanied her to every class and spelled the lectures into her hand. Keller wrote poetry, toured on the Chautauqua lecture circuit, and published an autobiography, The Story of My Life. Helen became a member of the Socialist Party. She also supported controversial groups like the Industrial Workers of the World, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and Margaret Sanger's birth control crusade.

In the 1920s, the newly established American Foundation for the Blind asked Helen Keller to help them raise funds. She was living testimony to the capabilities of a group once assumed to be retarded and helpless, and she spent most of the rest of her life as the most prominent advocate for the needs and rights of the handicapped. She lobbied for measures to aid the blind, including reading services and Social Security acceptance.
Additional Sources:
Hermann, Dorothy. Helen Keller: a life. New York: A. Knopf, 1998. NOTES: Includes bibliographical references (p. 375-378) and index.

Lash, Joseph P. Helen and Teacher: the story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan Macy. New York: Delacorte Press / Seymour Lawrence, c1980. NOTES: "Radcliffe biography series." "A Merloyd Lawrence book." Includes index. Bibliography: p. biography series p.[787]-789. U.S. Commemorative postage stamp entitled: "Helen Keller, Anne Sullivan" inserted.

Brooks, Van Wyck. Helen Keller; sketch for a portrait. New York: Dutton, 1956. NOTES: "Abridged from published in Harper's magazine, March, 1954."

The Story of My Life New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1902.

The World I live In New York: The Century Co., 1908.

Out of the Dark. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1913.

Midstream - My Later Life. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1930.

Teacher: Anne Sullivan Macy. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1955.

Helen Keller's Journal. London: M. Joseph, 1938.

Papers 1900-1968, 62 items. Radcliffe College, The Arthur & Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Papers ca. 1908-1954, 2000 items, 5 containers. Library of Congress, Manuscript Division. Washington, D.C.
National Women's Hall Event in Chicago