Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Helen Keller (By Maryam B. and Nadiah S.)


Helen Adams Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama on June 27 in a family of good wealth and society. An American author, political activist, and lecturer, she was known to be the first deaf blind person who earned the Bachelor of Arts degree.

Helen Keller's story began when she was no older than a year and a half years old, when she fell ill. The disease that she had contracted left her blind-sighted as well as deaf. The name of the disease is still unknown to this day but the doctors of that time had called it 'the brain fever'. The next few years were treacherous as noone was able to communicate with her. She grew up to be a young, disturbed and difficult child.

By the time she was six, things got a little better for the family as they hired a professional tutor for the deaf- Anne Sullivan. Anne Sullivan herself had a history of being blind when she was young therefore she was able to understand more of what Helen was going through. Anne had composed a method to communicate with Helen by pressing letters onto her palm. By using this method she was able to learn a great deal. By the age of eight she was very well known by others. Her fame blossomed from that year on and kept increasing with each year of her life.

Helen had gone to many schools and institutes from the year of 1888 to 1900, ranging from schools in New York like Wright Humason School for the Deaf and Horace Mann School for the Deaf all the way to Cambridge School for young ladies and Radcliffe College in Massachusetts. At the age of 24, she graduated from Radcliffe College where she became the first deaf and blind person to earn the Bachelors of Arts degree.

Anne stayed as one of Helen's closest companion long after she had taught her. In the year of 1914, Anne's health began to quaver. A woman named Polly Thompson was hired as a house keeper and secretary to Helen. She and Helen had become close companions after the death of Anne Sullivan in the year 1936. Both of them had had done a great deal of contribution to the blind as they traveled around the world. Sadly, Polly did not manage to stay long with Helen as she died of stroke in the year of 1960. Fortunately, the nurse that had cared for Polly in 1957, Winnie Corbally, became the next and the last of Helen's closest companions for the rest of Helen's life.

Helen grew up to become one of the most world-famous speaker and author. She is remembered as an advocate for people with disabilities. Helen and Anne traveled to over 39 countries, making several trips to Japan and becoming a favourite of the Japanese people. Helen met every U.S. President from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon B. Johnson and was also friends with many famous people, including Alexander Graham Bell, Charlie Chaplin and Mark Twain.

Keller had written a total of 12 published books and several articles. One of her earliest pieces of writing, at age 11, was The Frost King (1891). At age 22, Keller published her autobiography, The Story of My Life (1903), with help from Sullivan and Sullivan's husband, John Macy during Helen's time in college. Keller also wrote The World I Live In in 1908 giving readers an insight into how she felt about the world.

Helen suffered from many strokes as she got much older. She spent most her last years of life at her home. On September 14, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of the United States' highest two civilian honors. In 1965 she was elected to the National Women's Hall of Fame at the New York World's Fair. Helen died peacefully in her sleep on June 1, 1968, at her home in Connecticut. A service was held in her honor at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

As conclusion, we cannot state any more reason as to why we should not have chosen this wonderful and successful person as Helen Keller. Despite her number of disabilities, she has gone past the line of what many other people could have accomplished. Her love and compassion brightens and inspires the hearts of many. She has taught us that nothing is impossible as long as there is hard work and perseverance. Helen is a woman who is one in a million and i hope she inspires others as she has done to us.



  1. Grammatical errors on the last paragraph

    We chose Hellen.......and COMPASSION...
    She TAUGHT ....
    She WAS DETERMINED.....who WERE....as SHE WAS.
    She WAS one....

    P/S - Hellen Keller and her tutor Anne Sullivan are 2 people that I admire too. They showed preserverance and nothing is impossible in life.

  2. TO Pn Puteri. From Nadiah
    Hi sorry for the trouble Pn Puteri but i have just recently updated the post on Helen Keller. (actually the previous post wasnt exactly the final piece) after finishing the post i just realised that u had marked it...heheh. i hope u can give some remarks on the newest post. Thank u!!

  3. Ok better. No worries, marks will be coming in on Sunday night.