Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama on June 27, 1880. At the age of 19 months, she lost her sight and hearing as a result of meningitis.
Her pilgrimage from Tuscumbia to worldwide recognition, is an inspiring story which took her from silence and darkness to a life of vision and advocacy. Against overwhelming odds, she waged a seemingly impossible battle to re-enter the world she had lost.
With the help of her teacher, Anne Sullivan, she became the first blind-deaf person to effectively communicate with the sighted and hearing world. In so doing, she became an international celebrity from the age of eight, even before the era of mass communications.
Escaping from the "double dungeon of darkness and silence," Helen Keller grew into a world famous, highly intelligent, articulate and sensitive woman who wrote, spoke and labored incessantly for the betterment of others. After graduating college in 1904, she announced that her life would be dedicated to the amelioration of blindness.
Throughout her life, she regarded herself as a "world citizen," visiting 35 countries on five continents between 1939 and 1957. Helen Keller was one of the most powerful symbols of triumph over adversity our era has produced, leading Winston Churchill to call her, "the greatest woman of our age."
Helen Keller published 14 books. She met every President of the United States from Calvin Coolidge to John F. Kennedy. In 1968, Senator Lister Hill eulogized her as "one of the few persons not born to die." She will always be known as "the first lady of courage."