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blind girl grew into a highly intelligent and sensitive woman who wrote, spoke, and labored incessantly for the betterment of others. Twain introduced her to his friend Henry. In 1890, when she was just 10, she expressed a desire to learn to speak. Getty Images social Activism, after college, Keller set out to learn more about the world and how she could help improve the lives of others. Join the AFB Community to be notified whenever new Helen Keller archival materials are featured on our site. While Sullivan moved the lever to flush cool water over Keller's hand, she spelled out the word w-a-t-e-r on Helen's other hand. Work and Influence, in 1936, Keller's beloved teacher and devoted companion, Anne Sullivan, died. There were few world figures, from Grover Cleveland to Charlie Chaplin, Nehru, and John. She was, of course, deeply concerned for this group of people and was always searching for ways to help those "less fortunate than myself.".
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Polly Thomson, who had begun working as a secretary for Keller and Sullivan in 1914, became Keller's constant companion upon Sullivan's death. So powerful a symbol of triumph over adversity did she become that she has a definite place in the history of our time and of times to come. In 1905, Sullivan married John Macy, an instructor at Harvard University, a social critic and a prominent socialist. 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 aclu. She also had two older stepbrothers. On that day, which Miss Keller was always to call "The most important day I can remember in my life Anne Mansfield Sullivan came to Tuscumbia to be her teacher. By nightfall, she had learned 30 words. By this time, Keller had mastered several methods of communication, including touch-lip reading, Braille, speech, typing and finger-spelling. Thus began Helen Keller's education. The illness that struck the infant Helen Keller and left her deaf and blind, was diagnosed as brain fever at the time; perhaps it was scarlet fever.
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