Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama. At nineteen months, she suffered from a mysterious illness, perhaps scarlet fever, that left her deaf and blind. When Helen was five, Anne Sullivan was engaged as her teacher. Their relationship and the legendary strides made as a result of it, particularly Helen’s acquisition of language, are the subject of The Story of My Life
. A devoted member of the Socialist Party and a tireless advocate for the blind, Helen spent her adult life fundraising and lecturing all over the world. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964.