Name at birth: Joanna Sullivan
Anne Sullivan was the tutor and lifelong friend and assistant to Helen Keller, the famous deaf and blind activist. Sullivan lost her own sight as a child and attended Boston's Perkins School for the Blind (where Keller later went to school). Operations restored her vision and she graduated as valedictorian of her class in 1886. The next year she was hired to tutor the 6-year-old Keller, and eventually became Keller's permanent companion and guide. In 1905 Sullivan married Harvard teacher John Macy; they were separated in 1913 but never divorced. Sullivan remained with Keller until her own death in 1936. Their relationship was celebrated in the 1962 movie The Miracle Worker; Anne Bancroft (as Sullivan) and Patty Duke (as Keller) won Oscars for their work in the film.