Born Helen Adams Keller on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama, USA, Keller developed a fever at 18 months of age that left her blind, deaf, and mute.
When Keller was six years old, Anne Mansfield Sullivan of the Perkins School for the Blind was hired as Keller‘s teacher. The 20-year-old Sullivan, who remained at her student‘s side throughout her life, taught Keller sign language and Braille. Sullivan formed letters into Keller‘s hand for comprehension of textbooks, college lectures, and conversation.
Keller learned to speak at age 10. In 1898, she entered the Cambridge School for Young Ladies, and in 1904 Keller was graduated with a bachelor of arts degree, cum laude, from Radcliffe College.
Keller dedicated her life‘s work for the blind. In 1915, she joined the first Board of Directors of the Permanent Blind Relief War Fund, later known as the American Braille Press. In 1924, she started the Helen Keller Endowment Fund and joined the staff of the American Foundation for the Blind as a counselor on national and international relations.