Madame C. J. Walker

Sunrise 12/23/1867, born Sarah Breedlove, sunset 5/25/1919.

Her official website lists her as an “entrepreneur, philanthropist, and social activist”.

In July 1912 she said “I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations….I have built my own factory on my own ground.”

I am Facebook friends with her biographer and great great granddaughter, A’Leilia Bundles.

She is listed in the Guiness Book of Records and others as the first self-made American Woman Millionaire, earning her money on her own, neither inheriting it nor getting it through marriage.

She was married three times and her third husband was Charles Joseph Walker.

She moved to New York in 1916 but her manufacturing company was based in Indianapolis for more than 7 decades.

She was honored with a US postage stamp in 1998.

Many folks think that she invented the straightening comb, she did not. She did however “popularize” it.

She and her company trained sales people to sell the products door to door and also trained people how to run a business.