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Madam CJ Walker was born Sarah Breedlove on December 23 1867 on Delta Louisiana plantation The fifth of Owen and Minerva Anderson Breedloves six children she was the first Breedlove child born after the end of slavery This daughter of former slaves transformed herself from an uneducated farm laborer and laundress into the twentieth centurys most successful self-made women entrepreneur She also was the first african-american female millionaire She ran the largest business owned by an african-american at the time She made a prosperous business out of selling her self-made hair care products for african-american women She was orphaned at the age of six and was thereafter raised by an older sister She received very little formal education and at the age of 10 she began supporting herself At age 14 she married Moses McWilliams and in 1885 they had a daughter ALelia Two years later her husband died and Walker was left a widow with a young child to support She moved her family to St Louis Missouri where she had relatives There she worked as a hotel washerwoman for 18 years Around 1904 Walker began to suffer from a scalp ailment called alopecia which causes hair loss At first she tried existing hair products to relieve her problem before beginning to develop her own remedies She started creating scalp treatments then developed hair straighteners Next she began modifying existing hair techniques and tools until she developed the Walker method of hair care In 1906 Walker moved to Denver Colorado and married newspaper man Charles Joseph Walker It was there that she founded the Madam CJ Walker Manufacturing Company She expanded her line of products to include hair growing tonic strengtheners toiletries fragrances and facial treatments In addition to expanding her product line Walker developed new marketing techniques at first she sold her product door to door by herself Later she hired and trained other women to be Walker Agents and
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