George Washington Carver
Birth: 1861 in Missouri, United States
Death: January 5, 1943
Occupation: Agricultural Chemist, Botanist, Educator
Carver, George Washington (c. 1861 - Jan. 5, 1943), agricultural chemist, educator, and botanist, was born on a farm near Diamond Grove, Mo., the second son and youngest of three children of Negro slave parents. When he was an infant his father was killed in an accident. Shortly thereafter George, his mother, and a sister were stolen and carried into Arkansas by raiders. His mother and sister disappeared, but a "bushwhacker" brought the boy back to his owner, Moses Carver, in exchange for a racehorse valued at $300. Frail and sickly as a child, George was cared for by Carver's wife and took the family name as his own. He performed various household tasks, obtained some rudiments of an education, and at an early age displayed keen interest in plants.
At about the age of fourteen he left the Carver family to acquire formal education not then available to his race within the Diamond Grove community. Over the next few years he worked at odd jobs and attended grade schools in Neosho, Mo., and Fort Scott, Paola, and Olathe, Kans.; in Olathe he went to the Presbyterian church, the beginning of a lifelong affiliation. He received his high school training in Minneapolis, Kans., and there took the middle name "Washington" to distinguish himself from another George Carver. As he grew older he displayed skill in cooking, knitting, and crocheting, learned to do laundry work, became adept in growing plants, and developed talent for music and painting.
In 1885 Carver because of his race was refused admission to Highland College in northeast Kansas. He next became a homesteader near Beeler, Kans., where for nearly two years he attempted to farm,