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George Washington Carver

1861 –1943

George Washington Carver was born into slavery during the Civil War. Like many other slaves, he took the last name of his owner, Moses Carver. Mr. Carver was kind to George, and treated him like a member of his own family.

As a child, George was very curious and intelligent. He dreamed of going to
school. At the time, however, African Americans weren’t allowed to attend the local school. Mr. Carver helped him get into a different school in another town eight miles away.

George was a good student, but he didn’t start college until 1891, when he was about 30 years old. After graduation, George started teaching science classes. He was the first black professor at Iowa State College, and he quickly gained a reputation as an outstanding scientist.

In 1896 George was invited to teach at the Tuskegee Institute, an all-black college in Alabama. George accepted, because he had always wanted to help other African Americans get an education.

In the South, cotton was an important crop. Some farmers planted only cotton. George discovered that it was important to change crops. He told farmers to alternate sweet potatoes and peanuts with cotton. By doing that, the soil kept its nutrients. In his laboratory, George also found other uses for peanuts. He developed over 300 products from the peanut plant. By the time he died, in 1942, he was recognized as the world’s greatest plant scientist.

Inventors and Scientists
Level D

- Graded Readings from American History

52 People Who Made A Difference
by: Michael Ryall
Bio-Sketches for Reading, Telling, Listening, Writing, and Research
Grade 4 to Adult.
E.S.L. : Beginning to Intermediate



Mark Twain

George Washington Carver


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