“I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there…to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods…I have built my own factory on my own ground. 

—Madame C.J. Walker, pioneering American entrepreneur. Born Dec. 23, 1867, Walker is the country’s first female millionaire due to her successful line of hair and beauty products marketed to black woman. A native of Delta, Louisiana, Walker, 51, died on May 25, 1919.