Anne Sullivan

  Female      American      Educator

  Born : Apr 14, 1866  -
  Died : Oct 20, 1936

About Author

Johanna "Anne" Mansfield Sullivan Macy (April 14, 1866 – October 20, 1936), better known as Anne Sullivan, was an American teacher, best known for being the instructor and lifelong companion of Helen Keller. She contracted trachoma, a highly infectious eye infection, when she was eight to ten years old which left her blind and without reading or writing skills. She received her education as a student of the Perkins School for the Blind where upon graduation she became a teacher to Keller when she was 20.

Anne was born on April 8, 1866, in Feeding Hills, Agawam, Massachusetts. According to her baptismal certificate, her name at birth was Johanna Mansfield Sullivan; however, she was called Anne or Annie from birth. She was the oldest child of her parents Thomas and Alice (Cloesy) Sullivan. Her parents were illiterate, unskilled, and impoverished immigrants who came to the United States in 1860 from County Limerick, Ireland, during the Great Potato Famine. When she was only eight years old she contracted a bacterial eye disease known as trachoma, which created painful infections and over time made her nearly blind. When she was eight, her mother died and her father abandoned the children two years later for fear he could not raise them on his own. She and her younger brother, James ("Jimmie"), were sent to an overcrowded almshouse in Tewksbury, Massachusetts (today part of Tewksbury Hospital). Jimmie suffered from a debilitating hip ailment and died three months into their stay. Anne remained at the Tewksbury house for four years after his death, where she had eye operations that offered some short-term relief for her eye pain but ultimately proved ineffective...

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