Carter Godwin Woodson, 1875-1950
Carter Woodson was a prominent black leader in the first half of the twentieth century. Born in Virginia in 1875 to former slaves, Woodson graduated from high school in 1897 and worked as a high school teacher for eleven years before entering the University of Chicago, where he received a Masters degree. From Chicago, Woodson entered Harvard where he earned his Ph.D. in History. After graduating from Harvard, Woodson worked as a teacher in the Washington, D.C. public schools and at Howard University. He later directed the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History where he founded The Journal of Negro History and The Negro History Bulletin. Woodson also initiated the first Black History Week (which later evolved into Black History Month) and eventually received the prestigious Springarn Medal from the NAACP. Woodson served as director of the Association for the Study of Negro Life until 1950 when he died at the age of 75.