The first president's formal schooling ended when he was 11 years old, after his father died. That event cut young George off from the opportunity to be educated abroad in England, a privilege that had been afforded to his older half-brothers.
Washington's mother never remarried, forcing the adolescent to shoulder weighty burdens at a young age, as the oldest child of six from his father's second family. She taught him how to run a tobacco farm, and at the age of 16 he took his first job as a land surveyor. For the rest of his life, Washington would be embarrassed by his stunted schooling.