World’s Fastest Typist15 May 2012
Source: University Archives UA55-01-8226
Staff Person: Arthur Carlson
This picture from the University Archives features Cortez W. Peters, Sr who held the world record as the World’s Fastest Typist (UA55-01-8226). Born in Maryland, Peters achieved a then world record of 141 words per minute in 1925. With the advent of improved typing technology, Peters eventually peaked at 180 words per minute perfectly, a record that would stand until his son, Cortez W. Peters, Jr. surpassed his father. A favorite guest of television variety show hosts, he also aided the Allied war effort during WWII by acquiring and donating typewriters for use by the Federal government. A decade later, Peters opened with his son the first black-owned typing schools, the Cortez Peters Business Schools, featuring offices in Chicago, Baltimore, and Washington, DC. The schools served over 45,000 students. He visited East Carolina to meet with business students during summer school sessions that allowed blacks to attend classes before the formal desegregation of East Carolina. Peters passed away in 1964 at the age of 57 in Washington, DC.