Created in 1917 by Julius Rosenwald (1862–1933), president of Sears, Roebuck and Company, the Rosenwald Fund had a profound effect on rural education for African Americans in the South during the early twentieth century. Incorporated in 1928, the fund concentrated on four broad initiatives: education, health, fellowships, and race relations.

It is best known for a rural school-building program, which funded the construction of 4,977 public schoolhouses, 163 vocational shops, and 217 teachers' homes in 883 counties in 15 Southern states. Reflecting Rosenwald's goal of encouraging communities to work to better themselves, the fund contributed $4.4 million in matching funds to the school-building program between 1914 and 1932. Local African Americans and Whites provided the remainder of the $28.4 million cost.

In the area of health services, ...

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