The Influence of Three Women

Image of Helen Keller with the woman who influenced her life, Anne Sullivan.
Helen Keller with her teacher Anne Sullivan.

Helen Keller:

Helen Keller died June 1, 1968, but she lives. The Helen Keller Institute served approximately 300 million people last year.

In 1904 Helen Keller graduated cum laude from Radcliffe. The first deafblind person to earn a college degree. Mark Twain and Alexander Graham Bell supported Helen’s education.

Helen Keller became a person of global influence nominated for the Nobel Prize, awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and an Academy Award.

Helen Keller is one of the most influential figures of the 20th century, along with Einstein and Gandhi.

Helen Keller influenced the world.

Image of the Anne Sullivan - Helen Keller memorial. Two women of influence.

Anne Sullivan:

Anne Sullivan died October 20, 1936, but she lives. Anne saved Helen Keller.

Anne’s father abandoned her. She landed in the infamous Tewksbury Almshouse known for overcrowding and abuse. Within three months Anne’s brother, Jimmie, died. She overcame.

Anne graduated valedictorian from the Perkins School.

March 3, 1887, Anne Sullivan became Helen Keller’s teacher. Helen called it her ‘soul’s birthday’. Their relationship spanned 49 years.

Helen Keller knocked out one of Anne Sullivan’s teeth. (Both Anne and Helen were incorrigible in their youth.)

Anne Sullivan influenced Helen Keller.

Floor maid:

Helen Keller’s great grandniece tells the story of an elderly floor maid at the Tewksbury Almshouse who changed Anne Sullivan’s life. Anne was often caged to control her.

A floor maid baked Anne a cake and left it near her cage. The maid eventually became able to calm Anne so that she could be examined. They discovered she was almost blind.

A maid influenced Anne Sullivan.

Who will you influence today?

Note: An embellished version of the floor maid story has been discounted by Snopes.