|Booker T. Washington
Booker T. Washington was the first African American whose likeness appeared on a United States postage stamp. Washington also was thus honored a quarter century after his death. In 1946 he also became the first black with his image on a coin, a 50-cent piece. The Tuskegee Institute, which Washington started at the age of 25, was the where the 10-cent stamps first were available. The educator's monument on its campus shows him lifting a symbolic veil from the head of a freed slave.
Booker Taliaferro Washington was born a slave on April 5, 1856, in Franklin County, Va. His mother, Jane Burroughs, was a plantation cook. His father was an unknown white man. As a child, Booker swept yards and brought water to slaves working in the fields. Freed after the American Civil War, he went with his mother to Malden, W. Va., to join Washington Ferguson, whom she had married during the war.
At about age 16 Booker set out for Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, whic...