For many people, the story of Annie Turnbo Malone is a hidden one. Fortunately I was blessed to learn about her because she was the aunt of my grandfather, Roland Moody. After he died, the Annie Millionaire dates Peoria story began to unfold as my mother and I stumbled over documents and artifacts that my grandparents left us.
After researching, I realized we had a wealth of information about her legacy and awe-inspiring story. Creating Opportunities The remarkable Annie Turnbo Malone never obtained a high school diploma, yet she was the founder of Poro College—a pioneer who developed an empire selling black hair products throughout America and the world. She was also a servant leader and philanthropist who gave millions of dollars to African American causes and organizations.
Sadly, educational and economic opportunities were rare for most African Americans, but this did not stop Annie Malone from becoming a business icon and a fervent advocate for education.
It was reported that she supported two full-time students in every black college in the country, and taught her students life and pre-employment skills, including how to walk, talk and behave in social situations. One of ten children, Annie Turnbo was born to escaped slave parents in Metropolis, Illinois in She became orphaned around the age of six, and later went with her sisters Sarah and Ada Turnbo, who moved to Peoria to live with their married sister, Millionaire dates Peoria Turnbo Roberts. Ada Turnbo later married William H. Although Annie attended Peoria High School, she never graduated.
It was reported that she was often ill and suffered from coughing spells that would leave her bedridden and exhausted for days. After dropping out of school, she became a hairdresser. Her aunt, a chemist and herbal doctor, helped Annie develop a formula that would become a primary ingredient in her hair and beauty products targeting African American women.
Growing Her Business Annie began to advance her skills and business model while still in Peoria, identifying a niche and going door to door selling her products. During this era, black women wanted a different look that did not reflect the rural plantation corn-roll hairstyle, which reminded them of slavery. Inshe moved with her sister Laura to Lovejoy, Illinois, not far from St. A couple years later, she moved to St. Louis and decided to market her products at the St.
This successful strategy laid the foundation for what would become Poro College. The business grew rapidly, and she opened Poro College in with an investment of more than one million dollars. It was the first African American college in the country dedicated to cosmetology.
The Poro Annex was three stories high andsquare feet, made with fireproof bricks, and featured electric elevators and a cafeteria with a roof garden. ByAnnie employed people in St. It trained more than 75, agents worldwide, including the Caribbean and Africa.
Poro gave women the means and resources to change their lives. The average black woman of the day earned one to two dollars a week. Working as an agent of the Poro Company, however, they could earn a minimum of three to five dollars a week—and up to as much as one hundred dollars per week. Some paid for franchises and opened salons in their homes or other sites.
Thousands of women wanted to the Poro team. One such woman was Sarah Breedlove, known as Madam C. A lot of credit is given to Mrs. Walker for being a very successful hair entrepreneur. But ironically, one of the biggest misconceptions is that she was the first African American female millionaire—and that she originated the black beauty business.
She moved to Colorado, Pennsylvania and then Indiana, where she became very successful and well-known before her death in A decade later, Mr. Malone filed for divorce and sued Annie for half of her fortune. Consequently, she had to sell Poro College in St. Louis and never fully recovered financially. The stress began to take a toll, threatening her health as well as her finances.
In spite of these circumstances, Annie Malone continued to be a strong supporter of the St. Louis community and especially the St. Louis Colored Orphans Home, where she was board president from to Louis—the second largest ongoing African American parade in the millionaire dates Peoria.
Upon investigating Annie Turnbo Malone, I was moved to share her awe-inspiring story. I hope this article will resurrect her memory and legacy locally, and encourage others to become the next business icon from Peoria, Illinois.
In your findings did you discover where all of her colleges were, including the international ones? I absolutely loved reading this wonderful article about Annie Turnbo Malone and her successes. I had watched the struggle and success story of Madam CJ Walker and found that interesting but now to know that Annie from Peoria was way ahead of her time is simply outstanding!
Our students need to know this story! So glad she has been inducted into the African American Hall of Fame finally. This question is used to prevent automated spam submissions.
Annie Turnbo Malone was a shrewd businesswoman, philanthropist, entrepreneur and servant leader. Photos courtesy of Shirley Bryson archives. Poro College in St. Peoria Magazine: February Obsessed with Annie Malone In your findings did you discover where all of her colleges were, including the international ones? Just a great article. Did… Just a great article. Did she have any children?
No she didn't!! Brava to Annie Malone Your name. About text formats. Leave this field blank.