About Helen Keller

We invite you to read more about Helen Keller, her life and legacy, and about our annual Spirit of Helen Keller Gala by clicking on the links below.

The Life of Helen Keller

The name of Helen Keller is known around the world as a symbol of courage in the face of overwhelming odds, yet she was much more than a symbol. She was a woman of luminous intelligence, high ambition and great accomplishment who devoted her life to helping others. During her lifetime, Helen Keller was consistently ranked near the top of "most admired" lists. She died in 1968, leaving a legacy that Helen Keller International is proud to carry on in her name and memory.

The Legacy of Helen Keller

Founded by Helen Keller in 1915, Helen Keller International is one of the world’s premier international not-for-profit organizations dedicated to preventing blindness and reducing malnutrition. Working worldwide, we combat the root causes and extended consequences of blindness and malnutrition by establishing affordable and sustainable programs that are based on scientific evidence, original research and an unwavering determination to succeed against challenges that can too often be seen as insurmountable.

The results of our efforts are dramatic and wide-ranging. They perpetuate the indomitable spirit of Helen Keller, whose words continue to frame our values, and to guide us today:

“The welfare of each is bound up in the welfare of all.”

The Spirit of Helen Keller Gala

HKI hosted its ninth annual Spirit of Helen Keller Gala on May 20, 2014 at 583 Park Avenue in New York City. The Gala raises awareness and funds for HKI's sight- and life-saving programs in 22 countries around the world; and honors those who have joined with Helen Keller International in furthering its vital mission and work in reducing hunger and preventable blindness in some of the world’s poorest places. Internationally renowned economist, humanitarian and former CEO of Concern Worldwide, Tom Arnold, accepted the Helen Keller Humanitarian Award in recognition of his extraordinary dedication to ending child hunger and improving maternal health in the developing world. The award was presented by Ambassador David Donoghue, Ireland’s permanent representative to the United Nations. This year’s gala also featured Honorary Junior Chair, Oscar-nominated actress Abigail Breslin, who played Helen Keller in the 2010 Broadway revival of The Miracle Worker

Click here to view all of the Spirit of Helen Keller Award, The Helen Keller Humanitarian Award, The Helen Keller Legacy Award, and The Helen Keller Visionary Award recipients, from 1960 through 2014.