Anne Sullivan - Irish Women, Career and Family

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Anne Sullivan's Personal Details

A brilliant Irish-American teacher who taught Helen Keller, who was a blind, deaf and mute girl, how to communicate, Anne Sullivan was a coach in Radcliffe College

InformationDetail
BirthdayApril 14, 1866
Died onOctober 20, 1936
NationalityAmerican
FamousInstructor, Irish Women, Teacher, Miscellaneous, Educators
City/StateMassachusetts
SpousesJohn Albert Macy
SiblingsEllen Sullivan - James Sullivan - Mary Sullivan
Known asJohanna
Universities
  • Perkins School for the Blind
Birth PlaceFeeding Hills
GenderFemale
FatherThomas Sullivan
MotherAlice Cloesy Sullivan
Sun SignAries
Born inFeeding Hills
Famous asAmerican Teacher, Instructor
Died at Age70

// Famous Instructor

Anne Sullivan's photo

Who is Anne Sullivan?

Johanna ‘Anne’ Mansfield Sullivan Macy, who is better known as Anne Sullivan, is a well known Irish-American teacher and a mentor to Helen Keller. She went through a tough time as a child because her mother was suffering from frail health and her father was raging alcoholic. After the death of her mother and abandonment by her father at the age of 8, she and her brother Jammie were sent to state almshouse in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. There her brother passed away and then she moved on to the Perkins School for the Blind, Boston. She passed out of there as a valedictorian of her class. After that she moved to Tuscumbia, Alabama to Keller family to tutor their deaf, blind and mute daughter Helen Keller and from there onwards she was with her for the next 39 years of her life, tutoring her, accompanying her to the university, helping her to understand her lectures, tutorials, etc. Sullivan and Helen started working for the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) as advocates, counselors and fundraisers. She fell in love with John Albert Macy, a Harvard instructor and they both got married when she was only 39 but the marriage never worked out and they got separated. She died in comma at the age of 70, while holding hands with her companion of life Helen Keller.

// Famous Teacher

Childhood & Early Life

Anne Sullivan was born on 14 April 1866 in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts. She was born to her Irish immigrants parents, Thomas and Alice Cloesy Sullivan. Her parents were poor; father suffered from alcoholism and her mother had tuberculosis.

Sullivan became blind by the age of seven due to untreated trachoma and by that time her mother also died of tuberculosis. This left Keller dealing with her abusive father, who also abandoned her after a while.

In 1876, Sullivan and her brother were sent to a state almshouse in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. Shortly, after moving there, her brother also died and she spent another 4 years there. She was later sent to Perkins School for the Blind, Boston.

In 1880, Sullivan learned to read and write in Perkins and began her formal education there. She also went through several eye operations while she was there, which improved her eye sight drastically.

Career

In 1886, Sullivan graduated from Perkins School for the Blind, Boston as a valedictorian of her class. Immediately after that she was invited into the Keller Family to tutor their daughter, Helen at Tuscumbia, Alabama.

In 1887, Sullivan accepted the offer of Keller family and began her lifelong task as Helen Keller’s teacher. Helen was blind, deaf and mute. She had difficulty initially to deal with Helen as she was an angry and rebellious girl.

Sullivan was Helen’s home tutor for 13 years and after that she accompanied her to Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts. She attended all her classes with her and spelled into her hands all the lectures and assignments.

It was one of the greatest moments in both of the women’s lives when Helen graduated from the university. Alongside her, Sullivan also gained college education.

The following years, Helen and Sullivan started living in Wrentham, Massachusetts and then moved in with a woman called Polly Thompson. Polly was Helen’s secretary and Sullivan’s assistant. In 1916, Anne was diagnosed with tuberculosis and went to Lake Placid to recover.

Helen, Sullivan and Polly travelled extensively to United States and other countries after World War I. They gave lectures, burlesque performances and Helen did a Hollywood movie called ‘Deliverance’. The film did not do very well commercially.

In 1924, Sullivan and Helen started working for the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) as advocates, counselors and fundraisers.

In 1930, Sullivan was offered an honorary degree from the Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Helen was also offered the same degree. Sullivan refused it, but Helen accepted the honor.

Personal Life & Legacy

In 1901, Sullivan met John Albert Macy, a Harvard instructor who was helping Keller with her autobiography. They both fell in love and he proposed to her but she resisted, thinking that it will affect her relationship with Keller.

Sullivan and Macy got married in 1905 at the age of 39. He was much younger to her. In 1911, Sullivan fell ill and had to undergo surgery.

Their marriage started getting affected due to Sullivan’s devotion towards Keller and also they had money problems as they were living off Keller’s income. He also started getting troubled with her temperamental moods.

In 1929, Sullivan got her right eye removed as it was a constant source of pain. She spent next 3 years in Scotland trying to recuperate. She went completely blind by then.

Sullivan died on 20 October 1936 at the age of 70 as she fell into coma in Forest Hills, Queens, New York. It is said that she died by Keller’s side.

Trivia

After Keller died, her ashes were put beside Sullivan’s in the Washington National Cathedral.

She found a small library in Tewksbury and asked people to read to her.

When she went to school for the first time and she felt like she did not know as much as her classmates did.

She was called ‘Miss Spitfire’ by the director of her school, Michael Anagnos, who also became one of her close friends later.

// Famous Irish Women

Anne Sullivan awards

YearNameAward

Other

- Academy awards

Anne Sullivan biography timelines

  • // 14th Apr 1866
    Anne Sullivan was born on 14 April 1866 in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts. She was born to her Irish immigrants parents, Thomas and Alice Cloesy Sullivan. Her parents were poor; father suffered from alcoholism and her mother had tuberculosis.
  • // 1876
    In 1876, Sullivan and her brother were sent to a state almshouse in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. Shortly, after moving there, her brother also died and she spent another 4 years there. She was later sent to Perkins School for the Blind, Boston.
  • // 1880
    In 1880, Sullivan learned to read and write in Perkins and began her formal education there. She also went through several eye operations while she was there, which improved her eye sight drastically.
  • // 1886
    In 1886, Sullivan graduated from Perkins School for the Blind, Boston as a valedictorian of her class. Immediately after that she was invited into the Keller Family to tutor their daughter, Helen at Tuscumbia, Alabama.
  • // 1887
    In 1887, Sullivan accepted the offer of Keller family and began her lifelong task as Helen Keller’s teacher. Helen was blind, deaf and mute. She had difficulty initially to deal with Helen as she was an angry and rebellious girl.
  • // 1901
    In 1901, Sullivan met John Albert Macy, a Harvard instructor who was helping Keller with her autobiography. They both fell in love and he proposed to her but she resisted, thinking that it will affect her relationship with Keller.
  • // 1905
    Sullivan and Macy got married in 1905 at the age of 39. He was much younger to her. In 1911, Sullivan fell ill and had to undergo surgery.
  • // 1916
    The following years, Helen and Sullivan started living in Wrentham, Massachusetts and then moved in with a woman called Polly Thompson. Polly was Helen’s secretary and Sullivan’s assistant. In 1916, Anne was diagnosed with tuberculosis and went to Lake Placid to recover.
  • // 1924
    In 1924, Sullivan and Helen started working for the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) as advocates, counselors and fundraisers.
  • // 1929
    In 1929, Sullivan got her right eye removed as it was a constant source of pain. She spent next 3 years in Scotland trying to recuperate. She went completely blind by then.
  • // 1930
    In 1930, Sullivan was offered an honorary degree from the Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Helen was also offered the same degree. Sullivan refused it, but Helen accepted the honor.
  • // 20th Oct 1936
    Sullivan died on 20 October 1936 at the age of 70 as she fell into coma in Forest Hills, Queens, New York. It is said that she died by Keller’s side.

// Famous Miscellaneous

Anne Sullivan's FAQ

  • What is Anne Sullivan birthday?

    Anne Sullivan was born at 1866-04-14

  • When was Anne Sullivan died?

    Anne Sullivan was died at 1936-10-20

  • Where was Anne Sullivan died?

    Anne Sullivan was died in Forest Hills

  • Which age was Anne Sullivan died?

    Anne Sullivan was died at age 70

  • Where is Anne Sullivan's birth place?

    Anne Sullivan was born in Feeding Hills

  • What is Anne Sullivan nationalities?

    Anne Sullivan's nationalities is American

  • Who is Anne Sullivan spouses?

    Anne Sullivan's spouses is John Albert Macy

  • Who is Anne Sullivan siblings?

    Anne Sullivan's siblings is Ellen Sullivan - James Sullivan - Mary Sullivan

  • What was Anne Sullivan universities?

    Anne Sullivan studied at Perkins School for the Blind

  • Who is Anne Sullivan's father?

    Anne Sullivan's father is Thomas Sullivan

  • Who is Anne Sullivan's mother?

    Anne Sullivan's mother is Alice Cloesy Sullivan

  • What is Anne Sullivan's sun sign?

    Anne Sullivan is Aries

  • How famous is Anne Sullivan?

    Anne Sullivan is famouse as American Teacher, Instructor