African-American educator and agricultural researcher George Washington Carver (c. 1864-1943) grew up in Missouri with the white family that originally kept his mother as a slave. After earning his master’s degree in agriculture from Iowa State College in 1896, he headed the agricultural department at Booker T. Washington’s all-black Tuskegee Institute for nearly 20 years. Carver’s research and innovative educational programs were aimed at inducing farmers to replace expensive commodities, and he developed a variety of uses for crops such as cow peas, sweet potatoes and peanuts. Carver had abandoned both teaching and agricultural plot work by the late 1920s, though he continued to advise farmers and students.
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