On the eve of her 80th birthday in June 1960, Helen Keller gave an interview looking back on her life. She spoke with Ann Carnahan, a journalist, about her "secrets of joyous living."
Question: What is the greatest virtue a person may have or cultivate?
Answer: Love. Cultivate love for love is the light that gives the eye to see great and noble things. Love is true joy.
Question: I notice, Miss Keller, that you use joy very often. Why?
Answer: It is almost my favorite word. After love. But then they are the same. If you love life, you express joy every day.
Question: How is love personally important to you?
Answer: Only by the love my Teacher gave me did I learn true happiness. She gave me love, opened my mind, and helped me to my portion of the greatness of life.
"Helen Keller at 80" An interview by Ann Carnahan, This Week Magazine June 19, 1960
Image on left: Helen Keller seated in front of her teacher Anne Sullivan Macy. Keller holds her teacher's right hand with her left, circa 1893.
Image on right: Helen Keller head and shoulders portrait, circa 1920
Courtesy of the American Foundation for the Blind, Helen Keller Archives.