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Helen Keller Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trivia (26)  | Personal Quotes (12)

Overview (4)

Born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, USA
Died in Easton, Connecticut, USA  (natural causes)
Birth NameHelen Adams Keller
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Helen Keller contracted a virulent childhood disease which resulted in complete loss of sight and hearing at nineteen months. Her parents futilely sought help for her, as did family friend Alexander Graham Bell. Finally, when Keller was seven, Annie Sullivan, a young teacher, was hired by the family. Through a system involving a constant physical contact with Sullivan, a touch alphabet "spelled" into Keller's hand, persistence, faith, and love - detailed in The Miracle Worker (1962) - Keller suddenly and amazingly understood; she quickly and efficiently learned language, and the world opened to her. She asked to be taught to speak at the age of ten. With Sullivan's important emotional and intellectual support, Keller's development took off. Keller graduated - cum laude - from Radcliffe College in 1904. Sullivan was her companion until her death in 1936. Helen Keller wrote prolifically, traveled widely, lectured on various personal, political, and academic topics, and was awarded numerous honorary degrees from universities around the world. She died in 1968, one of the most famous and widely-admired women of our time.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Eileen Berdon <eberdon@aol.com>

Trivia (26)

Graduated from Radcliffe College in 1904, becoming the first deaf/blind person ever to attend an institute of higher learning, and the first deaf/blind person ever to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Had her eyes replaced with glass eyes when she was 30
Befriended 10 U.S. presidents
She became a socialist while in her early 20s.
Performed in vaudeville with Anne Sullivan.
She helped promote the use of Braille among blind people.
Was awarded the French Legion of Honor and the Congressional Medal of Freedom
Was the first woman to receive an honorary degree from Harvard University
Learned German, Latin, Greek, and French before she graduated from Radcliffe College.
Blind and deaf student of teacher Anne Sullivan.
Pictured with Anne Sullivan on a 15¢ US commemorative postage stamp issued in their honor, 27 June 1980.
Contracted scarlet fever which led to her total visual and hearing impairment at a very young age.
Charter member of the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1973.
Founded The John Milton Society for the Blind in 1928 to develop an inter-denominational ministry to bring spiritual guidance and religious literature to deaf and blind persons.
Wrote her first autobiographical book, The Story of My Life, while still in college.
The blind children of Japan always called Helen Keller "Mother", as a sign of respect.
The Helen Keller Society (American Foundation for the Blind) was, sadly, located in one of the Twin Towers.
The most common question she was asked during public appearances was, "Do you close your eyes when you sleep?" Her standard reply was, "I don't know. I've never stayed awake long enough to find out!"
When she arrived in Hollywood in the mid 1910s, she befriended 'Charles Chaplin', whom was very friendly with her and was her favorite movie star. Photographs were taken with the two and are in print today.
Founding Member of the ACLU.
Her portrayal by Patty Duke in The Miracle Worker (1962) won Duke the Best Supporting Actress Oscar at age 16, a record that remained unbroken until Tatum O'Neal, at age 10, won in the same category for Paper Moon (1973).
When she was 36 Helen fell in love with Peter Fagan, a 29-year-old Socialist and newspaperman who was her temporary secretary. The couple took out a marriage license, intending a secret wedding. But a Boston reporter found out about the license, and his witless article on the romance horrified Helen's stern mother, who ordered Mr. Fagan out of the house and broke up the love affair. Helen never had any contact with Peter ever again.
In 1937, she brought the first Akita (a breed of dog found only in Japan) to the United States. It was a gift from a speaking tour.
She was stranded in Cleveland, Ohio in the infamous "White Hurricane Storm," in November 1913 while she was completed a public speaking engagement.
An archive of her writings was lost due to the 9/11 terror attacks.
Inducted into the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame in 2006.

Personal Quotes (12)

Life is a daring adventure or nothing. Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature.
Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.
One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.
Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged.
They took away what should have been my eyes (but I remembered Milton's Paradise). They took away what should have been my ears, (Beethoven came and wiped away my tears) They took away what should have been my tongue, (but I had talked with god when I was young) He would not let them take away my soul, possessing that I still possess the whole.
If I am an optimist, my testimony to the creed of optimism is worth hearing.
Although the world is very full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.
On change: We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.
On the "White Hurricane Storm" in November 1913 in Cleveland, Ohio: I knew it was storming before I was told. The rooms, the corridors, everywhere within this building vibrates with the power of the storm outside. The storm waves, like sound waves or the waves of the wireless, will not be denied by stone walls and plate glass windows.
I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of it's heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.
I have always thought it would be a blessing if each person could be blind and deaf for a few days during his early adult life. Darkness would make him appreciate sight. Silence would teach him the joys of sound.

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