George Washington Carver was born a slave. As a boy, he was often sick, and liked to draw and paint pictures of nature. He loved plants and animals.
George had to work as a farmhand while going to school. Even so, he finished high school, and added to his education by reading books and paying attention to the world around him.
George learned that cotton plants take nutrients out of the soil, while peanut plants rebuild the soil. He worked to make peanut farming profitable.
Over his lifetime, George invented hundreds of uses for crops like peanuts, pecans, and sweet potatoes. His most famous invention was peanut butter! He also developed over 500 dyes and pigments from 28 different plants. Throughout his life, Carver invented products and processes that would help poor people to earn a living.