In 1882 Booker got married to Miss Fannie N. Smith of Malden, West Virginia. Fannie died in May of 1884. One child, Portia M. Washington, was born during their two year marriage. In 1885 Booker married Miss Olivia Davidson. Later on after four happy years of marriage Miss Olivia Davidson died in 1889. Two children had been born while they were married Booker Taliaferro Jr. and Ernest Washington. In 1893 he was married to Miss Margaret James Murray, a native of Mississippi, and a graduate of Fisk University located in Nashville, Tennessee.
Although Washington lived during a time in which his race was widely discriminated against, he recommended training black people for trades to build up their economic position before fighting for their integration and equality. He believed that black people advance only if they were educated.
In 1895 Booker presented his views in a speech at the Atlanta Exposition, he rapidly gained the attention of white leaders. He became powerful in channeling contributions to black causes and in getting blacks appointed to federal jobs. He advised presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft on racial matters.
Booker's greatest surprise was the letter he received from Harvard University on May...