Helen Keller International Award Recipients, 1960–2018

The Spirit of Helen Keller Award was established in 1959, during Helen Keller’s lifetime. The Award commemorates her unique legacy and expresses appreciation for her role as a founder and trustee of Helen Keller International, as well as our counselor of international relations, traveling the world on behalf of those with vision loss.

2018
Yetnebersh Nigussie, Disability rights activist and inclusion advisor at Light for the World
2016
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
2015 
Bill and Melinda Gates, Co-Chairs, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
2013
 Kate Ganz, Trustee and devoted advocate
2012
 William Foege, M.D., M.P.H., world-renowned epidemiologist and pioneer in the elimination of smallpox, polio and river blindness
2010
Perkins School for the Blind, accepted by Steven M. Rothstein, President
2009
David Green, Social Entrepreneur, Founder and Executive Director of Project Impact
2008
Gordon and Llura Gund, Co-Founders, Foundation Fighting Blindness
2007 
Daniel G. Sisler, Ph.D, Retiring Chair of HKI Board of Trustees
2006
Dr. Alfred Sommer, M.D., M.H.S. Dean Emeritus, Johns Hopkins University
2000 
His Majesty the King Mohammed VI, Kingdom of Morocco
Gale Bensussen, President, Leiner Health Products
John S. Crowley, Chairman Emeritus, Helen Keller Worldwide
1999
Ayako Sono, Chairperson, The Nippon Foundation
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, South Africa
1998
Jansen Noyes, III
1994
The People of Indonesia, Suharto, Former President of Indonesia 
J. Brian Atwood, Administrator, USAID
Tony Hall, United States Congressman
Donald H. Hubbs, Chairman, The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
1991
Dr. Francisco Contreras, Director General of the Instituto Nacional de OftalmologÌa, Perú
Dr. Newton Kara Jose, Director, University of Campinas, Brazil
Hoffmann-La Roche Task Force
SIGHT AND LIFE
1989
Merck & Company Inc.
Dr. Susan T. Pettiss, Director of Vitamin A Program, Helen Keller International
1988
Dr. and Mrs. Norval E. Christy, United States, Christian Hospital, Taxila, Pakistan
1987
Dr. G. Venkataswamy, M.S., F.A.C.S., India Director, Aravind Eye Hospital
1983
Ryoichi Sasakawa, Chairman, The Japan Shipbuilding Industry Foundation
1980
United States Agency for International Development
1979
The International Association of Lions Clubs
1978
Eric T. Boulter, C.B.E., United Kingdom, Director-General, Royal National Institute for the Blind; former Associate Director, Helen Keller International
1977
Henry R. Labouisse, Unites States Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
1976
John Ferre, M.D. (posthumous award), United States Director, National Society for the Prevention of Blindness; Member, American Foundation for Overseas Blind Advisory Committee on Blindness Prevention
1973
James S. Adams, United States, President, Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc.; Director, American Foundation for Overseas Blind
1971
Lord Fraser of Londsdale, United Kingdom, Chairman, St. Dunstan’s, London
1970
Sir John F. Wilson, United Kingdom, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind
1968
George L. Raverat, France, Director, European Office, American Foundation for Overseas Blind
1960
Colonel Edwin A. Baker, Canada, Founder and Managing Director, Canadian National Institute for the Blind; President, World Council for the Welfare of the Blind

The Helen Keller Humanitarian Award was established in 2007 to recognize the significant support of individuals or institutions for their sustained humanitarian efforts around the world.

2018
Bradford Perkins, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Perkins Eastman Architects
2017
TOMS, accepted by Jim Alling, CEO
2016
Desmond Fitzgerald, Founder- Hope for Poor Children Foundation
2015
Dr. David Nabarro, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Ebola
2014
Tom Arnold, Internationally renowned economist and humanitarian
2013
Honorable Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State of the United States
2009
Johnson & Johnson and Brian D. Perkins, Corporate Vice President, Corporate Affairs
2008
Merck & Co., Inc. and Richard T. Clark, Chairman, President and CEO

The Helen Keller Legacy Award was established in 2005 to recognize the significant on-going support of an institution for the work of Helen Keller International.

2011
Reader’s Digest, Partners for Sight Foundation, accepted by Susan Olivo, Executive Director
2009
Christie’s Inc. and Christopher Burge, Chairman
2007
Allergan, Inc. and David E.I. Pyott, CBE, Chairman of the Board, CEO
2006
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, accepted by H. Rodgin Cohen, Chairman and Partner

The Helen Keller Visionary Award was established in 2005 to recognize institutional friends whose generosity and innovations advance our mission.

2013
Barry Palmer, Vice President, Lions Club International
2011
L’Occitane en Provence, accepted by Reinold Geiger, Chairman and CEO
2010
Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), accepted by Marc Van Ameringen, Executive Director
2006
H.J. Heinz Company and William R. Johnson, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer