Madam C.J. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove on December 23, 1867, near Delta, Louisiana. After suffering from a scalp ailment that resulted in her own hair loss, she invented a line of African-American hair care products in 1905. She eventually established Madam C.J. Walker Laboratories to manufacture cosmetics and train sales beauticians; she developed “Madam Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower,” in 1906, a pioneer in the African-American beauty industry.
As profits continued to grow, in 1908 Walker opened a factory and a beauty school in Pittsburgh, and by 1910, when Walker transferred her business operations to Indianapolis, the Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company had become wildly successful, with profits that were the modern-day equivalent of several million dollars.She was the first American woman to become a self-made millionaire. Her business was worth more than $1 million at the time of her death.