He was a botanist and inventor.
He was born into slavery in Missouri, the exact day and year of his birth was unknown but it was probably in January 1861 or 1864.
He was about sustainability for farmers for food and to improve their lives using alternative crops to cotton, yes peanuts, but also sweet potatoes and legumes.
He wrote 44 bulletins for farmers, one of which contained 105 recipes using the peanut. The bulletins were republished in popular magazines.
He was an environmentalist.
In 1941 Time magazine named him a “Black Leonardo”.
He had 11 siblings, all of who died prematurely.
He was the first black student at Iowa State Agricultural College in Ames, Iowa in 1891 and later was the first black faculty member there as well.
His bachelor thesis was Plants as they are modified by man.
He was invited by Booker T. Washington to teach at Tuskegee Institute in the Agricultural Department and taught there for 47 years.