Photo credits: National Museum of American History
Maggie Walker (pictured) was an African-American businesswoman and teacher.
Walker was the first African-American woman to charter a bank and serve as its president in the United States. The first woman in U.S. history known to have served as a bank president was Louise M. Weiser, of Vermont, in 1875.
The first American woman documented to have both chartered a bank and served as its president was New Hampshire’s Deborah Powers in 1877. On April 27, 1903, Maggie L. Walker became both the first African American woman to charter a bank and the first African American woman to serve as a bank president.
As a leader, Walker achieved successes with the vision to make tangible improvements in the way of life for African Americans. Disabled by paralysis and a wheelchair user later in life, Walker also became a shining example for high-functioning people with disabilities.
Walker’s restored and furnished home in the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia has been designated a National Historic Site. It is operated by the National Park Service.
*BlackThen.com writer/historian Victor Trammell edited and contributed to this report.