Helen Keller was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. Born in 1880, she was struck by illness at the age of 19 months and lost both her sight and hearing. At the age of seven she met her first teacher and life-long companion Anne Sullivan, who taught her language, including reading and writing; and on this day, April 5, in 1887, “Anne made the “miracle” breakthrough, teaching Helen that “everything had a name,” by spelling W-A-T-E-R into Helen’s hand as water from the family’s water pump flows over their hands.” Keller became a prolific author, writing 14 books and hundreds of speeches and essays on topics ranging from animals to Mahatma Gandhi. Read more (Wikipedia).
When Sullivan’s health failed in 1914, Polly Thomson became Helen’s companion. See the Karsh portrait of the two together.