HELEN KELLER (June 27, 1880-June 1, 1968) was the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree, graduating from Radcliffe College in 1904. She was an author, political activist and lecturer. The story of how Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through to help the girl to blossom, learn how to communicate and become widely known was illustrated in the play and film The Miracle Worker.
She was a member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World. She campaigned for women’s suffrage, labor rights, socialism, pacifism and birth control. She also helped to found the American Civil Liberties Union. Keller met every U.S. President from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon B. Johnson and was friends with many famous people including Alexander Graham Bell, Charlie Chaplin and Mark Twain. In 1971, she was inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame. Keller proved to the world that deaf people could learn to communicate and that they could survive in the hearing world. She remains one of the most famous deaf people in history and is an idol to many deaf people in the world.
3 ¾ x 5 ¼ photograph of Keller by Whitman with her sentiment “Yours faithfully” and signature attached to the reverse. This would have been taken when she was 23. She attended several schools for the blind. She appears to be wearing a cap and gown graduation outfit.
A few folds to the upper portion of the photograph, barely touching her cap, with a few small tears, mostly in the border area -- easily framed out.
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