Helen Keller's Autobiography


Helen Keller

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Tonight, we’ll read an excerpt from “The Story of My Life” written by Helen Keller and published in 1903. The book details her early life, and especially her education.

Helen Keller was an American author, disability rights advocate, political activist and lecturer. Born in Alabama, she lost her sight and her hearing after a bout of illness when she was still a baby. She had limited communicative capability as a little girl. Her mother became inspired after reading a travelogue from Charles Dickens that described a similar girl being educated. This led the family on a quest to find such education for their daughter. Finally, at the age of seven, Helen met her first teacher and life-long companion Anne Sullivan. Sullivan taught Keller language, including reading and writing. Keller later became the first deafblind person in the United States to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.

In 1920, Helen Keller helped to found the American Civil Liberties Union. She traveled to over 40 countries with Sullivan, making several trips to Japan and becoming a favorite of the Japanese people. Keller met every U.S. president of her time, and was friends with many famous figures, including Alexander Graham Bell, Charlie Chaplin and Mark Twain.