GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER
American educator and an outstanding
innovator in the agricultural sciences. Carver was born a slave of parents near Diamond, Missouri. He left
the farm where he was born when he was about ten years old and eventually settled in
Minneapolis, Kansas, where he worked his way through high school. Following his
graduation in 1894 from Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now Iowa State University). Carver joined the college
faculty and continued his studies, specializing in bacteriological laboratory work in
systematic botany. In 1890 he became director of the Department of Agricultural
Research at Tuskegee Norman and Industrial Institute (now Tuskegee University), where he began an exhaustive
series of experiments with peanuts.
Carver developed several hundred industrial
uses for peanuts, sweet potatoes, and soybeans and developed a new type of cotton known as
Carver's hybrid. His discoveries induced southern farmers to raise other crops in
addition to cotton. He also taught methods of soil improvement. In recognition
of his accomplishments. Carver was awarded the Spingarn Medal in 1923 by the
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. In 1935, he was
appointed collaborator in the Division of Plant Mycology and Disease Survey of the Bureau
of Plant Industry of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture. In 1940, he donated all his savings to the
establishment of the George Washington Carver Foundation at Tuskegee for research in
natural science. Carver died at Tuskegee, on January 5, 1943. His birthplace
was established as the George Washington Carver National Monument in 1943.
Revised: July 18, 2013.