Interesting facts about Frederick Douglass include that he was born a slave, and that he was taught to read by his master's wife, Sophia Auld. Douglass was a supporter not only of the rights of African Americans, but of women as well. He was the first African American nominated as Vice President of the United States, though it was without his knowledge or consent.
Born in 1818, it is thought that Douglass' father was white. His mother died when he was 10, and Douglass lived with his maternal grandmother.
Douglass attempted to escape from slavery twice before he was successful. In 1845, he published "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave." He revised and expanded his work several times after its initial publication. Due to the popularity of his narrative, Douglass fled to Ireland after its publication to avoid re-enslavement. During his time in Ireland and Britain, supporters there raised money to legally purchase his freedom.
During the Civil War, Douglass wrote propaganda for the Union army and was an adviser to Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson regarding the treatment of African American soldiers and black suffrage. After the war, Douglass held several prominent positions, including the president of Freedman's bank, charge d'affaires for the Dominican Republic and recorder of deeds for the District of Columbia.