||Christian Encounters, a series of biographies from Thomas Nelson Publishers, highlights important lives from all ages and areas of the Church. Some are familiar faces. Others are unexpected guests. But all, through their relationships, struggles, prayers, and desires, uniquely illuminate our shared experience. A generation of 20th-century Americans knew him as a gentle, stoop-shouldered old black man who loved plants and discovered more than a hundred uses for the humble peanut. George Washington Carver goes beyond the public image to chronicle the adventures of one of history's most inspiring and remarkable men. George Washington Carver was born a slave. After his mother was kidnapped during the Civil War, his former owners raised him as their own child. He was the first black graduate of Iowa State, and turned down a salary from Thomas Edison higher than the U.S. President to stay at the struggling Tuskegee Institute, where he taught and encouraged poor black students for nearly half a century. Carver was an award-winning painter and acclaimed botanist who saw God the Creator in all of nature. The more he learned about the world, the more convinced he was that everything in it was a gift from the Almighty, that all people were equal in His sight, and that the way to gain respect from his fellow man was not to demand it, but to earn it.