Elijah Muhammad was a religious leader and self proclaimed Messenger of Allah who led the Nation of Islam from 1934 until his death in 1975. Muhammad was also the teacher and mentor of Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, Muhammad Ali, and his own son, Warith Deen Mohammed.
Elijah married Clara Evans on March 7, 1917. In 1923, the Poole family was among hundreds of thousands of black families forming the First Great Migration leaving the oppressive and economically troubled South in search of safety and employment. Established in the North, his family and professional life would take him to Hamtramck, Michigan, Detroit, Milwaukee and Washington, D.C. During their years in Detroit, Elijah and Clara had eight children, six boys and two girls. Elijah also had three children with Lucille Rosary Muhammad, one child with Evelyn Muhammad, and four children with Tynnetta Muhammad; he also fathered several children from other relationships. In total, it is estimated that he had 23 children.
In 1931, Elijah approached Wallace Fard Muhammad and soon became an ardent follower of his black self-empowerment ideology.