50 Years Ago Today: Helen Keller Passed Away

Hi, friends. Today marks the 50th year anniversary of Helen Keller’s passing away. Her life was a rare story of triumph over unimaginable obstacles.

Helen Keller was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.

At about one and a half years old, Keller contracted an unknown disease (maybe scarlet fever or meningitis) that took her vision and hearing. Without being able to read, write, hear, or speak, she was essentially a prisoner of her mind with no way to communicate or learn.

Keller’s mother read in a non-fiction travel account by Charles Dickens (American Notes) about a deaf-blind person who was successfully educated and wanted to try with her daughter. Through a series of doctor recommendations, the Kellers were finally introduced to Anne Sullivan, a twenty-year-old with vision impairment herself. She wasn’t a teacher–she was a former student at a nearby institute for the blind–but the institute’s director asked for her help.

Sullivan immediately tried spelling words in Keller’s hand; she brought her a doll then outlined d-o-l-l in her palm. Initially, Keller didn’t comprehend what was happening or that every object is assigned a word.

The concept of language finally clicked one month later as Sullivan stuck one of Keller’s hands under a faucet while outlining w-a-t-e-r in the other hand. That moment of epiphany changed the course of their lives.

Sullivan went on to become Keller’s governess and lifelong companion. Keller went on to live a full life–travelling, getting a higher education, writing books.

She was highly involved with political activism, an area where I do vehemently disagree with some of her viewpoints, but her story of overcoming is inspirational nonetheless.

Thanks for reading!


16 responses to “50 Years Ago Today: Helen Keller Passed Away”

  1. Thanks for the great tribute. What an amazing person!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading, Michael!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s an amazing story, thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading, Steven!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I will now over use the word AMAZING, because it so readily comes flowing out when you think about Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan. What an inspirational and heart touching story? I did not realize how recently she died. Only shortly before I was born. Hmmm… Gives me a warm feeling of closeness to them. So glad for the blessing these women gave to the world.

    Thanx for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, so heart-touching! Thanks, X!


  4. Helen Kellar is one of the people who has lived this world and inspired me. You can download her autobiography for your phone/kindle on Amazon for free. She also was a writer, and as a writer myself, I love hearing other people’s perspectives. She shared she had wrote a story as a child, which received a lot of praise, only for the teacher to then feel that she plagiarized the story because it was extremely similar to a children’s book. It is possible Helen heard the story and was inspired by it, but she did not purposely write her story will ill intent, and it left a scarring mark on her for years the way her trusted teacher treated her after that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, thanks for the info; too cool that it’s free! I didn’t know that other part. I guess every legacy has up’s and down’s :/

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I remember reading the story of Helen Keller as a young teen. I came away admiring both her and Anne Sullivan. Their perseverance in the face of adversity is certainly an inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Perseverance is key. We must finish our races. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I learned a lot reading this and the comments. Bonus! My Mom brought her to my attention when I was a kid to inspire me to overcome obstacles; it worked well. Heh. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I learned a lot from the comments too, hehe! That’s awesome. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Stories like hers, Fanny Crosby’s, and many others have inspired me greatly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hadn’t heard of her but thanks! Perhaps a good candidate for a Worship Music Mini 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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