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Found: A Rare Photo of Helen Keller

"Doll" is the first word Anne Sullivan (right) spelled to Helen Keller. Courtesy of the New England Historic Genealogical Society hide caption

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Courtesy of the New England Historic Genealogical Society

Me, I can't hear Helen Keller's name without tearing up. As a toddler, Keller was left blind and deaf after a bout with what might have been meningitis. She lived in isolation until Anne Sullivan, a teacher, gave her the gift of language. And then she flew through life, sometimes literally.

Now a newly discovered photo from 1888 shows Helen, at age eight, on a family vacation in Cape Cod. She's sitting with Sullivan, holding Sullivan's hand and a doll. Experts say it could be the earliest photo of the two together, and the only one showing the child with a doll. "Doll," as the AP reports, is the first word Sullivan spelled to Keller.

Special thanks to the New England Historic Genealogical Society for sharing the photo.