With innovative ideas and charismatic personalities, many African-Americans have made lasting contributions to the country, while also earning millions. Oprah Winfrey emerged as a world-famous one-woman brand with her show, eventually becoming the world's first black billionaire. Robert L. Johnson started BET, the cable channel geared towards African-Americans. Athlete Michael Jordan turned into a household name through numerous endorsement deals. These people were among the first African-Americans to overcome the obstacles of discrimination and achieve top honors in their fields. With talent and determination, each one reinvented not only what it meant to be an African-American, but also what it meant to be an American.
Madam C.J. Walker
Civil Rights Activist, Entrepreneur / 1867 - 1919
Madam C.J. Walker was the first American woman to become a self-made millionaire. Her business was worth more than $1 million at the time of her death.
Robert L. Johnson
Basketball Player / 1963 -
Michael Jordan is a former American basketball player who led the Bulls to six national championships and earned the NBA Most Valuable Player Award five times.
Film Actress, Entrepreneur, Producer, Philanthropist, Talk Show Host, Television Producer / 1954 -
Billionaire Oprah Winfrey is best known for hosting her own internationally popular talk show from 1986 to 2011. She is also an actress, philanthropist, publisher and producer.
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Learn more about the lives of African-Americans who have made extraordinary achievements in their fields, with our collection of Black History Groups.
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