Booker T. Washington Facts and Biography

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Updated: Apr 10, 2021
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“The Victorian Era was a time when African Americans saw many changes in their lives. For many individuals who lived during this time, they would go from slavery to freedom. As a result, they would have to find their way in a world that was forced to change but not really ready to fully accept the impact of African Americans. Booker T. Washington is one of these people whose abilities stood out and helped him to become one of the most successful African Americans in U.S. history.

Booker T. Washington was born on April 5, 1856 in Hales Ford, Virginia. Washington would be part of the last generation of slaves in the U.S. “The practice of slavery was outlawed on December 6,1865.” (When Did Slavery End in the U.S.?, 2016) His mother was Jane Ferguson, and his step father was Washington Ferguson. Like so many slaves of the time, there are no records stating what year both of Booker T. Washington’s parents were born or died.

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As a young slave, Booker had to work. Booker started working at the age of “nine years old,” and he worked with “salt.” (Danies, 2019) His job would be to pack the salt into the barrels they would use back then to transport the salt to different places. As Booker’s life changed, so did his jobs. According to, Washington had several jobs. His second job was being a “houseboy.” A house boy was a boy who basically did chores that maids in our time would do. These jobs could be cleaning or waiting on the people he worked for. His third job was at Hampton University. In order to pay for his tuition, he had to be a “janitor.” The job that Booker was most known for was his fourth job, which was as a “teacher.” He was a teacher at a black school. From teaching he grew in his position eventually becoming the “principle at Tuskegee University.”

Before becoming a teacher, Booker needed to get an education of his own. This must have been difficult with segregation at the time. Booker T. Washington’s real education came from the “University of Hampton in Virginia.” (Biography Booker T Washington, 2019) After his education Booker T. Washington married. During his life he had three spouses. Their names were “Olivia A. Davidson, Fannie Smith Washington, and Margaret Murray Washington.” (Danies, 2019)

Booker T. Washington Died in “November 14,1915” (Editors, 2019) at the age of 59. Booker T. Washington was his colleges principle when he died. He died at Tuskegee Alabama. Booker died to “hypertension which is high blood pressure.” (Editors, 2019) He is Buried at “Tuskegee University” (Danies, 2019) where he would live now if he was still alive. If was still alive he would be 162 years old. He would either keep on teaching or he would be enjoying his retirement if he was still alive.
My favorite quotation by him is “Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work” (Washington, 2019) Which is true because, if you look at some millionaire’s story there is a possibility that they were poor once. My reason for choosing this person is that I heard about him in a social studies class a few months back. I didn’t really know much about him and I to know more about him.

While leaning about Booker T. Washington I found several interesting facts about him. Like the fact that he was the first black man to be “featured on a US postal stamp.” (Biography Booker T Washington, 2019) Also, another fact is that the T in his name stands for “Taliaferro, which was a name given to him by his mother.” (Biography Booker T Washington, 2019) One more fact is that Booker T. Washington’s dad was a “white plantation owner and he never met him.” (Biography Booker T Washington, 2019) I particularly like the fact about the postal stamp. This truly shows how important he was to our society. His awards include: an honorary degree from Harvard University, An honorary doctorate from Dartmouth, and a monument.”

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Booker T. Washington Facts and Biography. (2021, Apr 10). Retrieved from