Frederick Douglass may have been the most influential African-American of the 19th century. He was born in slavery in February 1818 and endured all of the hardships associated with the cruel institution. He managed to teach himself and other slaves to read and ultimately escaped from Southern slavery in a daring twenty-four trek to New York. He became a crusading abolitionist and worked as a social reformer and minister. He published three versions of his stirring autobiography and inspired his readers by his courage and his passionate defense of the rights of all people. He famously said, “I would unite with anybody to do right and nobody to do wrong.” He published the North Star an abolitionist newspaper. He met and reconciled with his dying former owner Thomas Auld in 1877. Douglass ceaselessly agitated for universal suffrage and vigorously supported women’s rights He died on February 20, 1895.