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Maggie L. Walker

St. Luke Penny Savings Bank

1903 - 1930


1900 b. 1867
Born-Died1867 - 1934
BirthplaceVirginia (VA)
RaceBlack or African American
FatherLaborer, Un-/Semi-skilled
Era - 1900

Walker first organized an insurance company within the Order of St. Luke to help curb the problems suffered by many families when their major income-earners passed away. Capitalizing on the success of the insurance company, she went on to form the Penny Savings Bank in 1903, emphasizing the idea that, though their savings were small, blacks could still create financial stability for themselves. The bank served not only as a depository of funds and a discount mortgage lender, particularly for women, but also as an employer of a large number of community members. Walker was undoubtedly the first female bank president in the U.S.