HelenKeller(1880 – 1968) author, feminist, advocate for the handicapped, was born in Tuscumbia, Ala. At the age of 19 months, she had a severe illness which left her deaf and blind. At the age of 7, her education was taken over by Annie Sullivan, who remained her teacher and constant companion until her death in 1936. It was Anne who helped the young Helen to realize that everything had a name and that the manual alphabet was the key to everything she wanted to know.
Later with the help of textbooks in braille and Anne spelling the lectures into her hand she attended Radcliffe College where she obtained a BA degree with honors in 1904. In the half century that followed, Helen lead a busy and fruitful life devoted to helping those like herself who were deprived of sight and hearing. She traveled all over the world with a crusade to educate those in power as to the causes of blindness and how these could be remedied.
It is clear that Helen was gifted with intelligence, energy, a charismatic personality, and a fierce determination not only to live as independently as possible but also to make a difference in the lives of the handicapped. To her mission she gave not only her energy and her experience but, most importantly, the encouragement of her example.
She and Sullivan are interred together in the Cathedral crypt just off the Chapel of St. Joseph of Arimathea. A small bronze plaque, written in braille, denotes her final resting place.