InfoUSA Logo - U.S. Department of Statespacing image SEARCH >spacing imageSITE MAP >
U.S. LIFE  navigation seperator image  U.S. EDUCATION  navigation seperator image  U.S. GOVERNMENT  navigation seperator image  U.S. MEDIA  navigation seperator image  U.S. ECONOMY  navigation seperator image  QUIZZES   navigation seperator image  GUIDED TOURS

U.S.LIFE > People > Biographies of Famous Americans > Hellen Keller

Hellen Keller

Social Activist and Visionary

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart."

At the tender age of 19 months, Helen Keller suffered an illness that left her profoundly deaf and blind. She overcame these disabilities with the assistance of a devoted teacher, Anne Sullivan, who taught Helen how to read and write in Braille. She would later learn to speak in a primitive fashion.

After graduation from Radcliffe College in 1904, Keller devoted herself to a range of social causes. Between 1909 and 1924, she was active in the radical politics of the Socialist Party and the Industrial Workers of the World. She also campaigned against U.S. entry into World War I and in favor of women's suffrage.

Beginning in 1924, however, Keller was an articulate spokesman for the American Foundation for the Blind and a national symbol of personal courage in the face of adversity. Her many books and William Gibson's popular play, The Miracle Worker helped to convince the American people that physical limitations need not compromise a person's intellectual potential.

Historic Artifacts:

BRAILLE TYPEWRITER used by Helen Keller -- On loan from Ivy Green, Birthplace of Helen Keller, Tuscumbia AL

LETTER from Helen Keller to President Eisenhower, 8-12-60 -- On loan from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library-Museum, Abilene KS

LETTER from Helen Keller to President Hoover regarding the American Foundation for the Blind, 2-5-33
LETTER typed on a Braille typewriter from a student at Murphy Ranch Elementary School, Whittier CA -- From the collections of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum, West Branch IA

From the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library exhibit, American Women! A Celebration of Our History.



InfoUSA is maintained by the Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP), U.S. Department of State

Information on this section is not intended to constitute advice nor is it to be used as a substitute for specific counsel from a licensed professional. You should not act (or refrain from acting) based upon information in this section without independently verifying the original source information and, as necessary, obtaining professional advice regarding your particular facts and circumstances.