Michael Anagnos (1837-1906)

  • Protégé of Dr. Samuel Howe.
  • Director of the Perkins Institute for the Blind:
    • Hired Anne Sullivan, teacher of Helen Keller.
  • Photo of Michael Anagnos:
Portrait of Anagnos

Photo Caption:
"Michael Anagnos,
who 'made the sightless see'."

Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe was among the most well known and reputable philhellenes. After the Greek War of Independence, during one of his many trips to Greece to help in the post war effort with relief of the many refuges, Dr. Howe met Michael Anagnos, a highly capable young man whom he came to admire. He hired him as his secretary, and on return to the states he brought Michael with him.

He gave him a position as a teacher at the Perkin's Institute for the Blind where Dr. Howe was its Director. Michael also tutored Dr. Howe's daughter in Greek and they fell in love and soon married.

He became Dr. Howe's assistant and when Dr. Howe died, Michael Anagnos became the Director. During the tenure of Anagnos, the famous Anne Sullivan was hired. She became the mentor to Helen Keller, the famous blind person who had a considerable, rather profound, and inspirational effect on the lives of so many of the sightless.

His accomplishments were legendary to include the establishment of the largest library for the blind in the world. What followed also was the creation of an academic press producing books for the blind and distributing these books for the blind throughout the public libraries of Massachusetts.

Anagnos remained a prominent and leading citizen in the Boston community where he was a great resource for the growing number of newly arriving Greek immigrants facilitating their integration into the American mainstream.

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Greek Immigration to America, a slide presentation, delivered originally as a lecture to the Lancaster County Historical Society, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, December 3, 2004.

Copyright © Nikitas J. Zervanos, M.D., 2005. All Rights Reserved.

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Published in PAHH, 2005.

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