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Helen Keller

Born: 27 June 1880

Died: 1 June 1968

Nationality: American

American educator Helen Keller overcame the adversity of being blind and deaf to become one of the 20th century's leading humanitarians, as well as co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Helen Adams Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama. In 1882, she fell ill and was left blind and deaf. Beginning in 1887, Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, helped her make tremendous progress with her ability to communicate, and Keller went on to college, graduating in 1904.

Keller learned how to talk from Sarah Fuller, who was a teacher for the deaf. By resting her hand on Sarah's lips, Helen learned how to feel sound vibrations and how the lips moved to make sounds. She started off learning a few letters and sounds. Then she advanced to words and, finally, sentences.

During college Helen began to write about her experiences of being deaf and blind. She first wrote a number of articles which later on were published in a book. As Helen grew older she wanted to help other people like herself, inspiring them and giving them hope. She joined the American Foundation for the Blind and travelled the country giving speeches and raising money for the foundation. Later, during World War II, she visited wounded army soldiers encouraging them not to give up.

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