Best Known For
George Washington Carver was a prominent African-American scientist and inventor. Carver is best known for the many uses he devised for the peanut.
Watch a short video about George Washington Carver and his life as a pioneering African-American scientist.
A short biography of George Washington Carver who was offered a horticultural position by Booker T. Washington at the Tuskegee Institute and went on to discovering countless uses for the peanut and other important crops.
At age 50 Darwin revealed the theory of evolution in the Origin of Species.
Albert Einstein's vision and innovation created a lasting impact on both the world of science and our society. Click "buy Now" to learn more about the authorized Albert Einstein Archives. Video courtesy of Open Road Media.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Despite his involvement with government-funded scientific research and programs, Carver largely remained outside of the political sphere, and declined to criticize prevailing social norms outright. Nonetheless, Carver's scholarship and research contributed to improved quality of life for many farming families, and made Carver an icon for African-Americans and Anglo-Americans alike.
George Washington Carver died on January 5, 1943,
at the age of 78 after falling down the stairs at his home. He was buried next to Booker T. Washington on the Tuskegee grounds. Carver's epitaph reads: "He could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world."
Carver's iconic status remained after his death, in part due to steps that Carver and others took during his lifetime to establish his legacy. Carver, who had lived a frugal life, used his savings to establish a museum devoted to his work, including some of his own paintings and drawings. In December 1947, a fire broke out in the museum, destroying much of the collection. One of the surviving works by Carver is a painting of a yucca and a cactus, displayed at the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. In addition to the museum, Carver also established the George Washington Carver Foundation at Tuskegee, with the aim of supporting future agricultural research.
A project to erect a national monument in Carver's honor also began before his death. Harry S. Truman, then a senator from Missouri, sponsored a bill in favor of a monument during World War II. Supporters of the bill argued that the wartime expenditure was warranted because the monument would promote patriotic fervor among African-Americans and encourage them to enlist in the military. The bill passed unanimously in both houses.
In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated $30,000 for the monument west of Diamond, Missouri—the site of the plantation where Carver lived as a child. This was the first national monument dedicated to an African-American. The 210-acre complex includes a statue of Carver as well as a nature trail, museum and cemetery.
Carver appeared on U.S. commemorative postal stamps in 1948 and 1998, as well as a commemorative half dollar coin minted between 1951 and 1954. Numerous schools bear his name, as do two United States military vessels. In 2005, the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis opened a George Washington Carver garden, which includes a life-size statue of the garden's famous namesake. These honors attest to George Washington Carver's enduring legacy as an icon of African-American achievement, and of American ingenuity more broadly. Carver's life has come to symbolize the transformative potential of education, even for those born into the most unfortunate and difficult of circumstances.
© 2014 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
Learn more about the lives of African-Americans who have made extraordinary achievements in their fields, with our collection of Black History Groups.
Explore our curated collections of African-American figures, including:
Check out BIO’s original video series, American Freedom Stories, about the historic events of the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama, and the leaders and everyday heroes who fought to make racial equality a reality. Watch videos.
profile name: George Washington Carver profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
They are among history's most revered black inventors, known for their relentless inquisition, passionate research, impeccable design and, most importantly, their desire to push the envelope. Some of the world's greatest technological and social advancements, including the modern-day gas mask, light bulb and traffic light, owe their origins to black inventors. Did you know that George Washington Carver developed more than 100 products using peanuts? Or that Madam C.J. Walker was the first American woman to become a self-made millionaire? Learn more about these inventors, as well as Lonnie G. Johnson, Garrett Morgan, Patricia Bath, Percy Julian and more, at Biography.com.
Famous Black Inventors 16 people in this group
When it comes to famous black scientists, George Washington Carver, Mae C. Jemison, and Neil deGrasse Tyson probably come to mind. But do you know about Otis Boykin and how he's helped old hearts beat a little better? And how about Garrett Morgan, whose inventions have kept hair straighter, clothes fitter and traffic more efficient? Get more on these famous black scientists and more, only at Biography.com.
Famous Black Scientists 15 people in this group
Famous People Who Died in Accidents 103 people in this group