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George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver


The most renowned Black scientist of the early twentieth century, George Washington Carver (c. 1864-1943) spent his career promoting Tuskegee University, environmentalism, racial harmony, and the peanut.

Carver was born into slavery in Diamond Grove, Missouri, shortly before slavery was abolished in Missouri territory. Carver and his older brother were raised by their former master and his wife.

Carver was the first Black student to attend Iowa State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture and a Master of Science.

In 1896, Booker T. Washington invited Carver to head the Agriculture Department of the Tuskegee Institute. Carver would teach at Tuskegee for the next 47 years.

Carver is perhaps most well-known for championing the peanut as an alternative to widespread cotton planting. Through the peanut, Carver aimed to help sharecroppers restore nitrogen to their overtaxed soils and increase their self-sufficiency by growing a foodstuff.