Helen_KellerHelen Adams Keller was born in a small Alabama town. As an infant, she became ill with what is believed was scarlet fever or meningitis. The illness left her deaf and blind. With the help of her teacher and lifelong companion, Anne Sullivan, she learned how to read and communicate. 

In the years after graduating from Radcliffe College, Keller became a socialist and suffragist. In her writings she championed the disabled, pacifism, improved conditions for industrial workers, and women's voting rights. Keller donated her German royalties to a fund for German war-blind veterans. Nonetheless, her socialist and anti-war writings made her an enemy of the Nazis, who burned her work.