Do you remember learning about George Washington Carver at some point in your schooling? Most people remember him for the amazing and extensive list of over 300 different, innovative, and surprising uses for peanuts. That’s where he earned his title in the history books as America’s “Grandfather of Peanuts.” But Carver was so much more than that. He was a true American hero and his legacy continues on today.
George Washington Carver is what some might call an unlikely success story. Carver started life with all the odds stacked against him. He was born a slave during one of the most tumultuous times during the 19th century. He never knew his father, and his mother disappeared when he was just an infant, leaving Carver to be raised by the family that held her as a slave. He had every right to be bitter and angry, but none of those circumstances stopped him. In fact, his circumstances inspired him. He had God by his side and that was enough for him.
George Washington Carver was also a famous scientist, educator, artist, botanist, inventor and a man of deep faith. His love for God inspired his fascination with plants and the natural world around him. He had a knack with plants – a true gift – when he was but a small child, local farmers would bring him their sickly plants for Carver to nurse back to health, earning him another title – “The Plant Doctor.”
When Carver was just thirteen years old, he walked away from the only life he knew to pursue an education for himself. He worked hard, but often schools turned him away simply because of the color of his skin. But that didn’t stop him either. He finally entered college and studied art and later botany. He went on to become the first black student and first black faculty member at Iowa State Agricultural College.
Carver was a faithful man of God who lived a great life. He should be regarded as one of America’s finest heroes. Perhaps if America had the same work ethic, resourcefulness, and dedication to improving our world that Carver did, we just might be able to rebuild our country from the ground up. Share Carver’s story with everyone you know…and who knows what might happen!