Anne Sullivan Macy (1866-1936) overcame a destitute and also abusive childhood to become a brilliant teacher who accomplished what couple of people believed was possible. She teach Helen Keller, a blind, deaf and also mute child, come communicate. Sullivan coached her through Radcliffe College and accompanied her in public appearances worldwide. Despite visually impaired herself, she served as Keller"s eyes and also ears till her death.

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Johanna Sullivan, nicknamed Annie, to be born April 14, 1866 in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts. She was the oldest child of irish immigrants, Thomas and also Alice Cloesy Sullivan. Sullivan to be the oldest of 5 children, 2 of whom died in infancy. As soon as she was five, Sullivan contract trachoma, a bacterial eye infection. The condition left her half blind.

Alice Sullivan experienced from tuberculosis. ~ a fall, as soon as her earliest daughter was 3 or four, she could walk just with the aid of crutches. As soon as Annie Sullivan was eight, her mom died. After she mother"s death, Sullivan"s two enduring siblings checked out live through relatives. Sullivan was left to care for her father, an illiterate, unskilled, and abusive man.

Two years later, Sullivan and also her brother, Jimmie, were sent to live in the state poorhouse in Tewksbury—a filthy, overcrowded residence where the youngsters were exposed to people with serious mental and also physical ailments. Jimmie Sullivan, who had a tuburcular hip, died six months later, leave Sullivan alone. She years in ~ Tewksbury shaped Sullivan"s personality. Back she asserted to have actually risen above the corruption she witnessed at Tewskbury, she skilled violent rages and also terrors for the rest of she life. She once wrote that Tewksbury left her v "the conviction the life is generally cruel and bitter."

Following she brother"s death, Sullivan uncovered Tewksbury"s little library where she persuaded world to review to her. She longed to to visit school. In 1880, as soon as Franklin B. Sanborn, head of the State plank of Charities, checked out Tewksbury because that an inspection, Sullivan boldly walked up to him and also told him she wanted to walk to school. That fall, she left Tewksbury and entered the Perkins college for the blind in Boston.


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A Defiant Student

Sullivan soon discovered that she to be socially and educationally much behind her classmates. In ~ the age of 14, she had actually never attended institution before and also knew much less than she younger classmates. Sullivan was humiliated by her absence of social skills when rather learned that she had never owned a comb, wore a nightgown, or hosted a needle. However Annie presented greater maturity in part ways, having actually lived on she own. She hid she insecurities under a defiant attitude and also showed tiny respect for her teachers. The school"s director, Michael Anagnos, that later became a near friend, nicknamed she "Miss Spitfire."

A few teachers well-known Sullivan"s intelligence and also tamed she headstrong ways. Anagnos motivated her to tutor younger students. She additionally underwent eye surgical procedure that partially revitalized her vision. Sullivan i graduated from Perkins in ~ the period of 20. She was the course valedictorian and also gave a relocating speech at commencement.


Teacher and also Student

In 1887, Sullivan accepted a position as teacher to Helen Keller, a seven-year-old girl that was left blind, deaf, and also mute by condition she suffered when she was 19 month old. To prepare herself, Sullivan learned the case of Laura Bridgman, a previous Perkins student who was additionally blind, deaf, and also mute. Bridgman had been teach to interact through the use of increased letters and manual language.

Sullivan moved right into the Keller"s Tuscumbia, Alabama home. She uncovered Keller to it is in a spoiled and also temperamentalchild, topic to tantrums. After a quick time, Sullivan and also her student moved into a garden house on the Keller building where the strong-willed teacher and student began their lifetime of interdependence. Sullivan teach Keller to obey and finally, to associate words v objects and also ideas. The moment of Sullivan"s break-through with Keller, as soon as she finally construed that every object has actually a name, arisen on a feather day once Sullivan pumped water indigenous a fine onto Keller"s hand together she manually assignment w-a-t-e-r. The moment was immortalized in the Broadway play and also film, The miracle Worker.

Sullivan explained the world to Keller by constantly order words into her hand. Sullivan had actually high expectations for Keller and also insisted that she interact with complete sentences. She likewise taught her that there were numerous ways to say the same thing. Various other than her studies of Laura Bridgman, Sullivan had actually no cultivate or direction in to teach her student. She learned by trial and also error. The results were miraculous. Sullivan also taught Keller to speak.

In 1888, Sullivan and also Keller traveled to Boston, whereby Keller attended school as a guest in ~ Perkins. Anagnos was amazed with Keller"s progress and also published account of her success in the school"s annual report. The public made Keller famous. The 2 women met and befriended many influential people including Alexander Graham Bell, note Twain, Henry Ford, cutting board Edison, and also Maria Montesorri.

Keller"s notoriety attracted plenty of benefactors. Transparent Keller"s life, they detailed support and helped her finish her education. Amongst the contributors were industrialists man Spaulding, Andrew Carnegie, and Henry H. Rogers.

Sullivan attach Keller once she check to enhance her decided at the Wright-Humason college in brand-new York. Keller ready to to visit Radcliffe college at the Cambridge school for Young Ladies. In ~ Cambridge, the school"s director criticize Sullivan and also accused her of overworking her pupil. That tried unsuccessfully to separate the two.

In 1900, Keller gone into Radcliffe. Sullivan to visit classes v her, order the instructors" lectures into Keller"s hand and reading textbooks to she for hours, regardless of her own bad eyesight. Many world recognized Sullivan"s ability to filter info to Keller, feeding her just what she necessary to know and also discarding the remainder the the instructor"s lecture. Some criticized Sullivan, believing her to it is in manipulative. Lock felt that Sullivan overworked Keller and made her overly dependent. These accusations were heard throughout their lives.

In reality, the two women were incredibly dependent on each other. Many world saw them as one person. Sullivan biographer Nella Braddy composed that, "as long as Annie Sullivan lived, a concern remained as to how lot of what was called Helen Keller was in reality Annie Sullivan. The answer is no simple. Throughout the an imaginative years neither could have excellent without the other." once Keller graduated with honors from Radcliffe in 1904, she and others to be disappointed that Sullivan wasn"t likewise granted a degree.


A family members of Three

In 1901, if a college student at Radcliffe, Sullivan and also Keller met john Albert Macy, a Harvard instructor who helped Keller create her autobarisalcity.org. Man Macy helped Keller with her studies and also relieved Sullivan when her eyes needed rest. Sullivan and also John Macy fell in love, but she resisted his proposal, fearing that marital relationship would ache her relationship with Keller. She finally relented and also on may 2, 1905, in ~ the period of 39, they were married. He to be 11 years younger than she.

Keller lived with the Macys in a Wrenthan, Massachusetts farmhouse the two women had actually purchased in 1904. In 1909, all three came to be Socialists, though ann Sullivan Macy was much more conservative 보다 the other two. Socialism gave Keller a social reason to promote and a subject for her writing. Her teacher add Keller together she traveled roughly the country promoting society causes and also telling she story.

Macy"s health ongoing to decline. In 1911, she ended up being ill and underwent significant surgery. She eyes brought about her consistent pain and also periodically forced surgery. Despite these setbacks, she continued to occupational with Keller, accompanying she on a long series of lectures, beginning in 1914. She devotion come Keller was one of plenty of factors that strained she marriage. Money to be a major problem, together Keller"s income was sustaining the three of them. John Macy, favor others, began to think that his mam as manipulative in her therapy of Keller. That couldn"t deal with her temperamental moods, which only Keller appeared to be able to tame.

In 1914, john Macy travel to Europe. The marriage was over, although they never ever divorced. Macy ended up being deeply depressed. She was in negative health, exhausted, and overweight; she fear she was going insane. In 1915, a Scottish woman called Polly Thomson join the household. She served as Keller"s secretary and gave Macy some much-needed rest. The following year, Macy and Thomson travel to Puerto Rico, where Macy recuperated native a suspected situation of tuberculosis. The Wrentham residence was sold. After returning from Puerto Rico, the 3 women relocated to a home in woodland Hills, new York.

Three year later, Macy accompanied Keller to Hollywood, where she depicted herself in the movie, Deliverance. The movie was no a jae won success and Keller and also Macy turned come vaudeville together a source of income. Lock starred in an inspiring act in which Macy explained how she taught Keller come communicate and Keller defined how civilization need every other. Lock performed your act for three years, regardless of Macy"s breakable health. When illness prevented her from walking onstage, Thomson stepped in together a substitute. Macy and Keller resumed traveling 1924, as soon as Keller started fund raising for the American structure for the Blind. Macy accompanied Keller ~ above stage and also repeated her words, together Keller"s speech never ever was clearly understood.

By 1929, Macy"s eyesight to be one-tenth normal vision. Her appropriate eye was in constant pain and also had to it is in removed. In an effort to restore Macy"s health, she and also Keller traveledabroad in 1930. Because that the next three years, she invested summers in Scotland. She was now fully blind. Top top October 20, 1936, in ~ the age of 70, Macy passed away of myacarditis and also arteriosclerosis at her house in woodland Hills, brand-new York. Her cremated continues to be were interred in Washington"s nationwide Cathedral.

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Macy"s lifelong devotion to her student prospered out the her very own insecurities. Always in the shadow of Keller"s fame, Macy funneled her own ambitions with her student. Keller, who referred to as Macy "teacher" throughout she life, payment tribute to her mentor in a 1955 book, Teacher: anne Sullivan Macy . Sullivan was also the subject of a 1933 story by Nella Braddy, entitled Anne Sullivan Macy . Though Keller"s reputation constantly outshone Sullivan"s, the teacher was periodically honored in her lifetime. In 1932, she deserve an respect that numerous people, consisting of Keller, thought she deserved in ~ Radcliffe, 28 years earlier. Holy place University presented an honorary degree of physician of Humane letter to Macy and also Keller. The two women to be made honorary fellows of the Educational academy of Scotland in 1933 and received medals for "cooperative accomplishment of heroic character and far-reaching significance" indigenous the Roosevelt Memorial structure in 1936.