Frederick Douglass was born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey in February 1818, Talbot County Maryland into slavery. He died February 20, 1895, in Washington, D.C. He was an African American abolitionist, orator, newspaper publisher, and author who is famous for his first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself. Douglass learned to read as a young adult and remained an avid reader throughout his life. He became the first Black U.S. Marshal and served on Howard University's board of trustees from 1871 to 1895.
Douglass died in his Cedar Hill home located in the Anacostia area of Washington, D.C. on February 20, 1895, where he had spent the last 17 years of his life. At the end of his life, Douglass, an American icon who fought for social justice and equity, became known as the "Lion of Anacostia." Through his writings, speeches, and photographs, he boldly challenged the racial stereotypes of African Americans. During the latter years of his life, Douglass remained committed to social justice of the African American community. His prominence and work resulted in his being the most photographed American man in the 19th century.
Today, Douglass is renowned not just for his rise from slavery to the highest levels of American society, but also for his dedication to challenging the country to recognize the rights of all people and be consistent with its ideals.