In 1887, Anne Sullivan began teaching 6 year old blind-deaf Helen Keller.
Anne Sullivan lived a difficult life. At only 19 months, she contracted a disease that left her mostly blind. She required several surgeries to help her eyes. Then as a young child, she lost her mother and her father abandoned her and her siblings. She was sent to a poor house. After a few years, Anne worked up the courage to request to go to school. They sent her to a school for the blind, where she quickly learned and graduated.
Helen Keller contracted scarlet fever as a baby. The disease left her blind, deaf, and dumb. In other words, she couldn’t see, hear, or speak. Her parents still wanted her to learn, so through Alexander Graham Bell, they hired someone to come teach Helen Keller. The teacher turned out the be Anne Sullivan.
At first, the two struggled to work together, but finally, Anne broke through the silence surrounding Helen. After that Helen Keller quickly learned to the point she even went to college and earned her bachelor’s. Helen went on to write a book and advocate for equality. Anne stayed with Helen until she died in 1936. Helen Keller lived 30 more years, passing in 1968.