Madame C. J. Walker (1867-1919) was lauded as “the first black woman millionaire in America” for her successful line of hair care products. Born Sarah Breedlove, she was widowed by age 20 and took work as a laundress. After seeking treatment for hair loss, she developed the “Walker system” and sold her homemade products directly to black women. A talent for self-promotion helped build a booming enterprise, and she spent lavishly on luxurious homes. Walker also funded scholarships for women at the Tuskegee Institute and donated large sums to the NAACP, the black YMCA and dozens of other charities.