Booker T. Washington
(1856 - 1915)
Born on a plantation to an unknown white father and a slave-cook mother, Booker T. Washington at the age of sixteen traveled five hundred miles by train, foot, and hitchhiking on wagons to enroll at Hampton Institute in Virginia. Nine years later, he became head of the new Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, a school with two buildings. When he died thirty-four years later, the institute was instructing fifteen hundred students in more than thirty-eight trades and professions.