Born in 1880 - Died in 1968

Helen Keller

Helen Keller at the age of 19 months,(not quite 2 years old) was a happy, healthy child. She was already saying a few words.

Then she had a high fever which caused her to become deaf and blind. No longer could she see nor hear. She felt lost. She would hang on to her mother's skirt to get around. She would feel of people's hands to try to find out what they were doing. She learned to do many things this way. She learned to milk a cow and knead the bread dough.

She could recognize people by feeling of their faces or their clothes.

She made up signs with her hands so she could "talk" to her family. She had 60 different signs. If she wanted bread, she pretended to be cutting a loaf. If she wanted ice cream, she would hug her shoulders and shiver.

Helen was a very bright child. She became very frustrated * because she couldn't talk. She became very angry and began to throw temper tantrums * . The family knew they had to do something to help her.

They found a teacher named Anne Sullivan. Miss Sullivan herself had been blind, but had an operation and regained her sight. She understood what Helen was feeling.

She taught Helen the signs for the letters of the alphabet. Then she would "spell" the words in Helen's hand to communicate * with her.

One day Anne led Helen to the water pump and pumped water on her hand. She spelled the letters W-A-T-E-R as the water ran over Helen's hand. She did this over and over again. At last it dawned on Helen that the word "water" meant the water which she felt pouring over her hand. This opened up a whole new world for her. She ran everywhere asking Anne the name of different things and Anne would spell the words in her hand. This was the key which unlocked the world for her.

She eventually stopped having the tantrums. Anne taught her for years. Helen learned to read Braille * . This was a system of raised dots representing letters. A blind person could read by feeling of the dots.

When she went to college, her teacher Anne went with her and tapped out the words of the instructors into her student's hand.

Helen had an amazing memory, and she also had skills very few people have ever been able to develop. She could put her fingers to a person's lips and understand the words which were being spoken.

While she was in college she wrote her book called "The Story of My Life". With the money she earned from the book she was able to buy a house.

She became famous and traveled around the world speaking to groups of people. She met many important and well-known people as she traveled.

Helen Keller was successful because of her determination. However, many people helped her. The most important person in her life was Anne Sullivan who stayed with her for 50 years.

This biography by Patsy Stevens, a retired teacher, was written in 2001.

A frequent question:
"Who wrote this biography
and when was it written?"
Look on this Reference Citations Chart.

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Helen Keller Archival Collection
American Foundation for the Blind

My Own Books
personalize an online story about Helen Keller
by inserting your name in the story

Braille Bug
children can learn about Braille at AFB

The Life of Helen Keller
from RNIB

Helen Keller Birthplace

Helen Keller
biography with audio version (part 1)

Helen Keller
biography with audio version (part 2)

Helen Keller (audio)
Engines of Our Ingenuity.

Helen Keller Lesson Plan
Lesson Snips.com
You must register to use any of the lessons. Limited free lessons.

A Poem by Helen Keller

Helen Keller
printable study page

English Lesson Plan on Helen Keller

"Midstream My Later Life
online book by Helen Keller

At biography.com search for Helen Keller.
Scroll the panel for the "Video & Audio Results".

From Word Central's Student Dictionary
by Merriam - Webster

(Pronunciation note: the schwa sound is shown by ə)

frustrated, frustrate
Pronunciation: 'frəs-"trAt
...to prevent from achieving a goal...

Pronunciation: 'tan-trəm
Function: noun
: a fit of bad temper

Pronunciation: kə-'myoo-nə-"kAt
Function: verb
... : to transmit information, thought, or feeling so that it is satisfactorily received or understood ...

Pronunciation: 'brA(ə)l
Function: noun
Usage: often capitalized
: a system of writing for the blind in which letters are represented by raised dots [named for Louis Braille who developed the system]

19805: Helen Keller: From Tragedy to Triumph Helen Keller: From Tragedy to Triumph
By Katharine Wilkie / Simon & Schuster Trade Sales

The Childhood of Famous Americans series chronicles the early years of famous American men and women in an accessible manner. Each book is faithful in spirit to the values and experiences that influenced the person's development. History is fleshed out with fictionalized details, and conversations have been added to make the stories come alive to today's reader, but every reasonable effort has been made to make the stories consistent with the events, ethics, and character of their subjects. For children ages 8-12.

215427: Helen Keller Helen Keller
By January Productions

This is the story of Helen Keller, the blind and deaf girl who overcame great obstacles and became one of the most admired women in the world.The cassette tape contains a paced, word-for-word narration of the story. The student can read the text while listening to the cassette for comprehension. A beeped tone tells the reader when to turn the page. The other side contains a non-beeped word-for-word version of the story. For ages 9-12.

690340: Inspiring Animated Heroes: Helen Keller, DVD Inspiring Animated Heroes: Helen Keller, DVD
By Nest Family Entertainment

A childhood fever leaves the very bright Helen Keller deaf and blind, cutting her off from human communication. She becomes an angry, untamed child who often explodes into fist of savage fury. But he spirited Anne Sullivan breaks into Helen's dark and silent world and ends her awful isolation. Every child will be inspired by this story of how Helen is successful in overcoming obstacles of deafness and blindness and learns to communicate with the help of a patient teacher. A terrific way to teach a child about how to triumph over obstacles. Recommended for ages 4 to 8. Running Time: Approximately 45 minutes, Dolby Digital Stereo. Directed by Richard Rich, former Walt Disney Productions director.

Bonus Features:
  • Chapter Access
  • Sing-A-Long Activity

Excellence awards: The Dove Seal of Approval Award; Early Childhood Years Award, 11th Annual; Approved by Kids First: A Coalition for Quality Children's Media; Practical Homeschooling's highest rating; The Film Advisory Board "Award of Excellence."

067005: Helen Keller Biography FunBook Helen Keller Biography FunBook
By Carole Marsh & Sherry Moss(Editor) / Gallopade International

Everyone's favorite way to learn about America's bravest citizens! Easy-to-read information, facts, trivia, humor and activities are all included in Biography Funbooks! Ages 7-12. paperback.


The Story of My Life
by Helen Keller (public domain, 1921, full view) Order here

The World I Live In
by Helen Keller(public domain, 1920, full view) Order here

The Gordon Readers
By Emma K. Gordon (public domain, 1914, full view)

Johnson's Fourth Readers
By Henrietta H. Richardson, Nannie Clements, Louise Manly, Blanche Wynne Johnson,
Eugene Cunningham Branson (public domain, 1899, full view) Order here

The Wide Awake Fourth Reader
By Clara Murray (public domain, 1913, full view) Order here

Helen Keller
By Elizabeth MacLeod, Andrej Krystoforski (selected pages) Order here

Helen Keller
By David A. Adler (selected pages) Order here

Helen Keller, Photo-illustrated Biographies
By Muriel L. Dubois (selected pages) Order here

To Love This Life: Quotations of Helen Keller
By Helen Keller (selected pages) Order here

Helen Keller
By Christy Devillier (selected pages) Order here

Helen Keller: Out of a Dark and Silent World
By Sandra H. Shichtman (selected pages)

Helen Keller, In the Hands of a Child, Project Pack
(selected pages) Order here .

Helen Keller, Courage in Darkness
By Emma Carlson Berne, Marie Hodge (selected pages) Order here

Always Happy or the Story of Helen Keller
By Jennie Chappell (selected pages) Order here

How I Would Help the World
By Helen Keller (review) Order here

Preview some of these Amazon books using the links below.

Helen Keller: rebellious spirit
By Laurie Lawlor (selected pages)

Helen Keller: Courageous Advocate
By Scott R. Welvaert, Cynthia Martin, Keith Tucker (selected pages)

Lives and Times Helen Keller
By Emma Lynch (selected pages)

Miss Spitfire: reaching Helen Keller
By Sarah Miller (selected pages)

A Picture Book of Helen Keller
By David A. Adler, John C. Wallner, Alexandra Wallner(selected pages)

Helen Keller
By Jane Sutcliffe (selected pages)

Helen Keller, History Maker Bios
By Jane Sutcliffe (selected pages)

There are many deafblind people in the world. There are 22,000 in Japan alone.

Satoru Fukushima who lives in Japan lost his right eye's sight at age three, then left at age nine. He also lost hearing when he was 18 years old. He became a professor at the University of Tokyo Highly-Advanced Science and Technology Research Center.

He and his mother invented the way to communicate by using fingers, the fingering Braille. It works like a Braille typewriter. His mother or an interpreter hit Satoru's finger the same way as typewriting.

(We say "Thank you" to a friend "chitoron" in Japan for sending us this information.)

Page Comments

Most Recent Comments   ( See more comments on this page )
good info for my project
love it! helen keller is awesome
Jakob Owings
pretty good :)
eh kinda helpfull
I loved it!
Ishani Jemu
I learned a lot from it. Love it!

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Biographies in this Series

Reference citations information for these biographies

Presidents of
the United States
George Washington John Adams Thomas Jefferson James Madison James Monroe Andrew Jackson
  Martin Van Buren Abraham Lincoln Theodore Roosevelt Franklin D. Roosevelt Harry S. Truman Dwight D. Eisenhower
  John F. Kennedy Lyndon B. Johnson Jimmy Carter Ronald Reagan Barack Obama Calvin Coolidge
American Patriots Benjamin Franklin Francis Scott Key Deborah Sampson Molly Pitcher
World Leaders Constantine Alexander the Great Winston Churchill Margaret Thatcher
Inventors Alexander Graham Bell Johann Gutenberg Cyrus McCormick The Wright Brothers Henry Ford Thomas A. Edison
  Sequoyah Nikola Tesla Michael Faraday Dean Kamen Jack Kilby Leonardo Da Vinci
  Donald O'Neal
Explorers Christopher Columbus Meriwether Lewis Robert Peary John Muir Matthew Henson Sir Edmund Hillary
  Kit Carson Johnny Appleseed Daniel Boone
Women who made
a difference
Clara Barton Helen Keller Florence Nightingale Joan of Arc Amelia Earhart Annie Oakley
  Susan B. Anthony Elizabeth Keckly Harriet Tubman Anne Frank Eleanor Roosevelt Madam C.J. Walker
  Sadako Sasaki Henrietta Lacks Malala Yousafzai      
Scientists George Washington Carver Sir Isaac Newton Marie Curie Louis Pasteur Albert Einstein Galileo
  Lise Meitner Norman Borlaug Benjamin Banneker
Educators Noah Webster Booker T. Washington Aristotle Mary McLeod Bethune
Physicians Hippocrates Walter Reed Albert Schweitzer
Religious Leaders George Muller Increase Mather
Athletes Lou Gehrig Wilma Rudolph Tiger Woods Michael Phelps
Civil Rights
Martin Luther King Rosa Parks Sojourner Truth Frederick Douglass Mary Ann Shadd Cary James Forten
  Gandhi César Chávez William Wilberforce Nelson Mandela
Composers Beethoven Mozart
Authors Laura Ingalls Wilder Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) Ernest Hemingway Greg Mortenson Phillis Wheatley
Artists John James Audubon Gutzon Borglum Ansel Adams Dale Chihuly Van Gogh Michelangelo
  Rembrandt Grandma Moses Cassatt Renoir Cezanne Rockwell


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