A prolific author, Keller was well-traveled and outspoken in her convictions. A member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, she campaigned for women's suffrage, labor rights, socialism, antimilitarism, and other similar causes. She was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 1971 and was one of twelve inaugural inductees to the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame on June 8, 2015.
At 19 months old, Keller contracted an unknown illness described by doctors as "an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain", which might have been scarlet fever or meningitis. The illness left her both deaf and blind. She lived, as she recalled in her autobiography, "at sea in a dense fog".
At that time, Keller was able to communicate somewhat with Martha Washington, the two-years older daughter of the family cook, who understood her signs by the age of seven, Keller had more than 60 home signs to communicate with her family, and could distinguish people by the vibration of their footsteps.
During this time, Keller had also become very wild and unruly. She would kick and scream when angry, and giggle uncontrollably when happy. She tormented Martha and inflicted raging tantrums on her parents. Many family relatives felt she should be institutionalized.
Looking for answers and inspiration, Keller's mother came across a travelogue by Charles Dickens, American Notes, in 1886. She read of the successful education of another deaf and blind child, Laura Bridgman, and soon dispatched Keller and her father to Baltimore, Maryland to see specialist Dr. J. Julian Chisolm.
After examining Keller, Chisolm recommended that she see Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, who was working with deaf children at the time. Bell met with Keller and her parents, and suggested that they travel to the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston, Massachusetts.
There, the family met with the school's director, Michael Anaganos. He suggested Keller work with one of the institute's most recent graduates, Sullivan.
On March 3, 1887, Sullivan went to Keller's home in Alabama and immediately went to work. She began by teaching six-year-old Keller finger spelling, starting with the word "doll," to help Keller understand the gift of a doll she had brought along. Other words would follow.
In May 1888, Keller started attending the Perkins Institute for the Blind. In 1894, Keller and Sullivan moved to New York to attend the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf, and to learn from Sarah Fuller at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf. In 1896, they returned to Massachusetts, and Keller entered The Cambridge School for Young Ladies before gaining admittance, in 1900, to Radcliffe College of Harvard University, where she lived in Briggs Hall, South House. Her admirer, Mark Twain, had introduced her to Standard Oil magnate Henry Huttleston Rogers, who, with his wife Abbie, paid for her education.
In 1904, at the age of 24, Keller graduated as a member of Phi Beta Kappa from Radcliffe, becoming the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.
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. The deaf community was widely impacted by her. She traveled to twenty-five different countries giving motivational speeches about Deaf people's conditions.
Keller wrote a total of 12 published books and several articles. At age 22, Keller published her autobiography, The Story of My Life (1903), with help from Sullivan and Sullivan's husband, John Macy. It recounts the story of her life up to age 21 and was written during her time in college. Keller wrote The World I Live In in 1908, giving readers an insight into how she felt about the world. Out of the Dark, a series of essays on socialism, was published in 1913.
According to Wikipedia.org