Helen Keller (1880 - 1968) is famous as a blind and deaf person who was able to overcome her handicaps through the devoted work of Anne Sullivan, her teacher and eventual life-long friend. Her blindness and deafness were caused by an illness early in her childhood. The story of her relationship with Sullivan was recorded in the The Miracle Worker both as a play and later as a motion picture.
At first attending schools for the deaf and blind, Keller went on to graduate from college with high honors. As Keller learned to live with her handicaps and excel, she went on to speak at events supporting social causes including "rights" for the handicapped and women's "rights". Politically she was on the far left and supported socialism.
She was a founding member of the ACLU, and was close personal friends with Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. She also maintained contact with Alexander Graham Bell, Charlie Chaplin, and Mark Twain. Twain especially admired Keller's work. Every president between Grover Cleveland and Lyndon Johnson met with her at least once during their presidency.
Keller became a radical later in life. She said, "I am not for peace at all hazards. I regret this war (World War I), but I have never regretted the blood of the thousands spilled during the French Revolution".