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Madam C.J. Walker, America's leading female entrepreneur of her time, is born to freed slaves in Louisiana.

Newspaper advertisement for Madame C.J. Walker cosmetic preparations, 1920.
12/23/1867

Madam C.J. Walker, the country's first successful black female entrepreneur, was born this day as Sarah Breedlove close to Delta, Louisiana, the youngest child of freed slaves and herself the first of her family born free.  She married several times and took various jobs until she became involved in the business of haircare products for African-American women.  Centered for a several decades in Indianapolis, Indiana, she built a small cosmetic empire and eventually moved to New York where she died in May 1919.  She was touted as the first African-American millionaire and certainly was the most successful female entrepreneur of her time in the western world, black or white.  (By John Osborne)

Source Citation: 

A'Lelia Bundles, On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker (New York: Scribners, 2001), 25-28.