Introduction - Famous Men in Black HistoryWho are the most famous men in black history? There are many famous and important people in black history; on this page we list the men whereas the women are listed on a separate page. Some of these men gained fame from fighting injustice against black people while others gained fame in other ways such as important inventions, breaking records, writing books, and by being elected to important positions. On this page of Black History Facts you will find a list of famous African-American men with a short description of each. This information includes why they are famous and how they became famous. There are links to detail pages of interesting kid-friendly facts and information about many of these famous men in African American history.
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List of Famous Men in Black History
- Frederick Douglass (1817 - 1895) - A famous abolitionist who fought against slavery and advised President Lincoln.
- George Washington Carver (around 1865 - 1943) - One of the most prominent inventors and scientists of his time. Best known for inventing hundreds of products derived from peanuts, including dyes, and plastics.
- William Harvey Carney (1840 - 1908) - He is the first African American to be given the U.S. Medal of Honor. He was given this medal for his gallant actions at the Battle of Fort Wagner in 1863 during the American Civil War.
- Blanche Kelso Bruce (1841 - 1898) - The first African-American to serve a full term in the U.S. Senate.
- Elijah McCoy (around 1844 - 1929) - A famous inventor who received approximately sixty patents. A fun fact is that his inventions were of such high quality that the expression "the real McCoy" meaning something of high-quality was coined after his last name.
- Booker T. Washington (1856 - 1915) - He became the most important black person of his time and pushed for educational and economic advancement for African Americans. He was an author, teacher, orator, and often advised U.S. Presidents.
- William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) DuBois (1868 - 1963) - The first black person to receive a doctorate from Harvard University. He is best known for being a founder of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).
- Thurgood Marshall (1908 - 1993) - In 1967 he became the first African-American justice of the US Supreme Court.
- Jesse Owens (1913 - 1980) - This famous black athlete won four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympic games which infuriated Adolph Hitler who had hoped the games would prove the Aryan race (the Germanic race) was superior to all other humans.
- Jackie Robinson (1919 - 1972) - He was the first black person to play Major League Baseball; breaking the color barrier that had segregated baseball up until that point.
- Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968) - The most famous Africa-American in black history. He was the most important leader of the black civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
- Colin Powell (born 1937) - Is a retired four-star general in the U.S. Army. The first African American to serve as U.S. Secretary of State and also the first black person to serve on the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.
- Dr. Guion Stewart Bluford Jr. (born 1942) - In 1983 he flew aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger and became the first African-American in outer space.
- Barack Obama (born 1961) - The first black President of the United States of America. Inaugurated on January 20th of 2009.