Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The story of how Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker.
Keller went on to become a world-famous speaker and author. She is remembered as an advocate for people with disabilities, amid numerous other causes. Keller wrote a total of 12 published books and several articles. On September 14, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of the United States’ two highest civilian honors. In 1965 she was elected to the National Women’s Hall of Fame at the New York World’s Fair.
Keller devoted much of her later life to raising funds for the American Foundation for the Blind. She died in her sleep on June 1, 1968, at her home, Arcan Ridge, located in Easton, Connecticut, a few weeks short of her eighty-eighth birthday.
On October 7, 2009, a bronze statue of Helen Keller was added to the National Statuary Hall Collection, as a replacement for the State of Alabama’s former 1908 statue of the education reformer Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry. It is displayed in the United States Capitol Visitor Center and depicts Keller as a seven-year-old child standing at a water pump. The statue represents the seminal moment in Keller’s life when she understood her first word: W-A-T-E-R, as signed into her hand by teacher Anne Sullivan. The pedestal base bears a quotation in raised letters and Braille characters: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.”
Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.
While they were saying among themselves it cannot be done, it was done.
What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.
Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.
Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see. Helen Keller Quotes
It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision.
I seldom think about my limitations, and they never make me sad. Perhaps there is just a touch of yearning at times; but it is vague, like a breeze among flowers.
Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.
Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.
Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood. Helen Keller Quotes
It is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil. If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui.
Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.
All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.
I can see, and that is why I can be happy, in what you call the dark, but which to me is golden. I can see a God-made world, not a manmade world.
Life is either a great adventure or nothing. Helen Keller Quotes
No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.
It is hard to interest those who have everything in those who have nothing.
The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.
Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle.
Many people know so little about what is beyond their short range of experience. They look within themselves – and find nothing! Therefore they conclude that there is nothing outside themselves either.
Life is an exciting business, and most exciting when it is lived for others.
What I am looking for is not out there, it is in me.
People do not like to think. If one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant.
No one has a right to consume happiness without producing it.