These seven black CEOs left their mark on history.
Samuel T. Wilcox was a wholesale grocery store owner in Cincinnati in the 1850s and is considered the most established Black entrepreneur in food distribution.
Clara Brown started a successful laundry business for gold miners after gaining her freedom to live independently and searching for her kids who had been sold to different families.
Madam C.J. Walker was America’s first female self-made millionaire after developing beauty and hair products for black women through a company she founded — Madam C.J. Walker manufacturing company.
Maggie Lena Walker is the first black women to charter a bank in the U.S. She founded the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank it was the oldest black owned and operated bank until 2009.
John H. Johnson is the Founder of Ebony and Jet Magazine. He started his empire with a $500 bank loan and was the first African American on Forbes’ 400 Richest People list.
Robert F. Smith a self-made billionaire. As the Founder of Vista Equity Partners, he donated a large sum of the new National Museum of African American History in D.C.
Ursala Burns is the first black women to lead a Fortune 500 company. As the Xerox CEO, she turned the company around completely, bringing in $18 billion in revenue in 2015.