Visionary STEM Leader
George Washington Carver
1864 (exact date unknown) – January 5, 1943
George Washington Carver became the most famous Black scientist in the 20th century. Born a slave, he was curious and eager to learn, attending many schools before earning his high school degree in Minneapolis, Kansas. He studied plant pathology at Iowa State and became an educator and researcher at Tuskegee Institute, a historically Black college (now Tuskegee University), after graduation.
At the Tuskegee Institute, Carver helped garner national attention for the school due to his development of new uses for many crops, such as peanuts, pecans, soybeans, and sweet potatoes. His new uses include soaps, paints, dyes, cosmetics, flour, synthetics, and a type of gasoline.
Carver was passionate about education and developed a mobile classroom training program to educate farm families about new crops and how to diversify crops to stabilize their incomes. He was an early promoter of recycling, encouraging the use discarded items in developing low-cost products. A lifelong learner, Carver’s curiosity and creative mind created a legacy of fans from political leaders both in the US and abroad.
A museum is dedicated in his honor, the George Washington Carver Museum at the Tuskegee Institute. Carver’s life savings helped fund the creation of another museum, the George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center in Austin, Texas.
- High school degree, Minneapolis School, Kansas
- Studied at Simpson College, Iowa - art and music
- BS and Master Degrees, science, botany, Iowa State
Special Affiliations, Awards, and Honors
- Honorary PhD degree —Simpson College, Selma University, Iowa State
“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.”