|Birth: ||Jan. 7, 1919|
|Death: ||Jun. 13, 2004|
Medical pioneer, state legislator, teacher, community leader. She rose from humble beginnings to become the First black woman representative to the state legislature in Tennessee and the first African American female surgeon in the South. When she was five-months old, her unmarried mother Edna Brown placed her in and orphanage. She lived at the orphanage until she was thirteen years old when her mother reclaimed her. A very bright child she became determined to get an education, running away at age 15 to enroll in Troy High School. After high school, she obtained a scholarship to Bennett College, receiving her B.A. degree in 1941. In 1944 she enrolled at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN graduating in 1948 in the top third of her class. She started as an intern at Harlem hospital in New York, with strong opposition to female Surgeons she was denied a surgical residency. Determined, she went back to Meharry and got her a residency there and completed it in 1954. She became the first African-American female surgeon in the South in 1948. She served as the educational director of the Riverside-Meharry Clinical Rotation Program and the chief of surgery at Riverside. She then became the attending surgeon at George W. Hubbard Hospital and professor of surgery at Meharry Medical College. In 1966 she became the first African-American woman to be elected to the Tennessee State Legislature for a two-year term. There she co-sponsored legislation that created "Negro History Week," which grew to become Black History Month. In addition to being the first African American female surgeon in the South, she also became the first single woman in Tennessee to adopt a child at the age of forty. She was also the first African American woman to be made a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Dr. Brown received the humanitarian award from the Carnegie Foundation in 1993 and the prestigious Horatio Alger Award in 1994. Throughout her life, she often remembered God, Methodist Women and her adopted parents who helped steer her on a path of success in a world of barriers. She also often paid tribute to the Methodist Church in helping her attain higher education. As she often said, she was proud to be a role model, "not because I have done so much, but to say to young people that it can be done. Her basic philosophy of life was the belief that "we are here for a purpose-each of us being endowed with multiple talents; our charge is to develop one or as many of these talents as possible and to use these talents and the days of our living to glorify God. Therefore I must "Run to Live," and I must seek to serve in as many different areas of endeavor as I can." She died at age 90 from congestive heart failure.
Specifically: Davidson County, Tennessee
Created by: Curtis Jackson 🖋...
Record added: Jun 18, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 8951642