Rosenwald, Julius (1862–1932)
Known for his humility and hard work, Rosenwald owned Sears, Roebuck and Company and built its merchandise shipping business. A successful businessman and multimillionaire, Rosenwald focused on philanthropy and built a friendship with Booker T. Washington after reading his autobiography. On his 50th birthday in 1912, he gave $700,000 (currently $16 million), including $25,000 to the Tuskegee Institute, which Washington used in part to fund education for black children in the Deep South. Almost 5,000 Rosenwald-backed schools were built, which educated 35 percent of black children in the South.