Scientist, Inventor. He developed three hundred uses for peanuts and hundreds more for soybeans, pecans, and sweet potatoes. Born a slave in 1864 on his father's farm near Diamond Grove, Missouri, as an infant he and his mother were kidnapped by Confederate night-raiders and possibly taken to Arkansas. His father, Moses Carver found and reclaimed his son, but his mother was never found. It was on his father's farm where Carver first fell in love with nature, where he earned the nickname "The Plant Doctor" and collected in earnest all manner of rocks and plants. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1894 and a Master of Science degree in bacterial botany and agriculture in 1897 from Iowa Agricultural College (now Iowa State University). He later became the first African-American member of the faculty of Iowa Agricultural College, teaching classes about soil conservation and etc. In 1897, Booker T. Washington, founder of Tuskegee University in Alabama, convinced George Washington Carver to come south and serve as the school's Director of Agriculture where he remained until his death in 1943. Only three patents were ever issued to him during his lifetime, but among his numerous listed discoveries are: adhesives, axel grease, bleach, buttermilk, chili sauce, fuel briquettes, instant coffee, linoleum, meat tenderizer, metal polish, paper, plastic, pavement, shaving cream, shoe polish, synthetic rubber, talcum powder and wood stain. Countless products we enjoy today come to us by way of Carver. He did not patent or profit from most of his products, he freely gave his discoveries to mankind. In 1940, he donated his life savings to the establishment of the Carver Research Foundation at Tuskegee, for continuing research in agriculture. George Washington Carver was bestowed several honors in his lifetime for his works which included being named a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London in 1916, a honorary doctorate from Simpson College in 1928, the Spingarn Medal in 1923 by the NAACP, and the Theodore Roosevelt Medal for restoring southern agriculture. On July 14, 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt honored him with a national monument dedicated to his accomplishments. In 1951, the George Washington Carver National Monument was established on 210 acres of the Missouri farm where carver was born. There is also the George Washington Carver Museum on the campus of Tuskegee University in Alabama where he is buried.
Bio by: Curtis Jackson