Madam C.J. Walker was an African American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and political and social activist. She is recorded as the first female self-made millionaire in America in the Guinness Book of World Records.
She was born Sarah Breedlove in December 23, 1867 in Delta, Louisiana. Her parents died when she was seven. She went to live with her sister and brother in law in Mississippi. She had three months of school and then went to work as a domestic servant. She married Moses McWilliams at age 14 and had one daughter, Leila. He died in 1887.
She moved to St Louis, Mo in 1888. She had dandruff and scalp problems. She learned about hair care from her brothers and went to work selling products for Annie Malone.
Walker made her fortune by developing and marketing a line of cosmetics and hair care products for black women through the business she founded, Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company. She became known also for her philanthropy and activism. She made financial donations to numerous organizations such as the NAACP, and became a patron of the arts.