George Washington Carver (ca. 1861–1943) was an African American scientist and educator. He was raised on a Missouri plantation by his mother’s former owners following her disappearance during the Civil War. Carver sought out an education as a young man, receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Simpson College in Iowa. After completing his education, Carver went to teach at Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, where he spent the rest of his career. He dedicated himself to agricultural research and experimentation, and his work led to radical changes in southern farming. Carver found that peanuts and sweet potatoes grew well in Alabama soil, and he developed hundreds of derivative products from them, making them lucrative crops that could replace cotton.

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