Skip to Main Content

African American Scientists

George Washington Carver (1864-1943)

George washington carver

Image credit: not listed; restored by Adam Cuerden [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

  • An American botanist and inventor
  • Born a slave in Missouri during the Civil War,George Washington Carver was orphaned as a young boy, but grew up a free child
  • At age 11, Carver left home to pursue an education, and earned a high school diploma in this twenties. 
  • Carver completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science in 1894 from Iowa State Agricultural College, followed a Master's in 1896  
  • Developed techniques to improve soils depleted by repeated plantings
  • Encouraged poor farmers to grow sweet potatoes and peanuts, for which he is famous for his experiments and recipes
  • Carver joined the faculty of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, a new vocational school for African Americans, in 1881 and headed up the institute's Agricultural Experiment Station