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Madam C.J. Walker

Madam C.J. Walker (1867-1919) is considered the first African American woman to become a millionaire. She was orphaned at age 7 and raised by her older brother. She was widowed in 1887 with one daughter after 6 years of marriage and began working as a washerwoman in St. Louis, Missouri. It was here that she developed and started selling a line of hair care products. In 1905 she moved to Denver, Colorado, where she met and married Charles J. Walker, a newspaper man. Walker demonstated and sold her products door-to-door in African American communities. She trained women to establish their own businesses for selling her hair care products and other cosmetics. The "Walker Agents" were soon well-known in the United States and the Caribbean. In 1910, Walker moved to Indianapolis and opened a manufacturing plant. She increased her wealth with real estate investments and gave sizable donations to causes that aided African Americans. Walker left two-thirds of her estate to charitable and educational institutions. Read some of the Children's Biographies about this amazing woman.