Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, February 1818 - February 20, 1895) was an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. After escaping slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining renown for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing. He stood as a living counter-example to slaveholders' arguements that slaves did not have the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. He became a major speaker for the cause of abolition.
In addition to his oratory, Douglass wrote several autobiographies, eloquently describing his life as a slave, and his struggles to be free. His classic autobiography, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, is one of the best known accounts of American slavery.
After the Civil War, Douglass remained very active in America's struggle to reach its potential as a "land of the free". Douglass actively supported women's sufferage. Following the war, he worked on behalf of equal rights for freed men, and held multiple public offices.
Douglass was a firm believer in the equality of all people, whether black, female, Native American or recent immigrant. He was fond of saying, "I would unity with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong."