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Washington, Booker Taliaferro

Born: 1856 AD
Died: 1915 AD
Nationality: N/A
Categories: Authors, Educators, Orators

US educator


pioneer of black education in US


1956 – Born into slavery in 1856, yet rose up to become the 1st president of Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) from 1881 until his death in 1915.


Stressed vocational development of blacks rather than direct political agitation toward civil rights. Believed that economic security needed to come first before pressing for social equality.


1895 – 1st Black invited to speak to a mixed audience at the Atlanta Exposition. The speech was very well received with congratulatory letters sent to him by President Grover Cleveland and W. E. B. DuBois.  Yet, However, years later, DuBois would disagree with Dr. Washington’s priority that economic security trumped social equality. He called the speech an "Atlanta Compromise."


1st black recipient of honorary Masters from Harvard University.

1st black of recipient of an honorary Doctorate from Dartmouth College, (Hanover, NH).


1901 – His autobiography, "Up from Slavery" has been published in 14 languages, and is still published today.

This is only the most famous of the 14 books he wrote.


1940 – 1st black American depicted on US postage stamp  (Two commemorative stamps)

1946 – 1st black depicted on US coin (fifty-cent piece) and 1st black to have a U.S. Merchant ship named for him.

Over 30 schools in the U.S. today bear his name.