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 Clara “Mother” Hale

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Clara “Mother” Hale

  • Birth 1 Apr 1905 Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Death 18 Dec 1992 USA
  • Burial Unknown
  • Memorial ID 6902694

Prominent African-American social activist and childcare worker who created a sanctuary for drug-addicted and AIDS-infected infants and their mothers in New York City, as problems associated with drug abuse exploded in the Harlem community where she lived. Clara "Mother" Hale is described as a nuturing, loving and comforting woman who genuinely cared about the future of those otherwise friendless children. She was born Clara McBride in 1905 in Philadelphia, PA and was widowed while still in her twenties. Hale and her children eventually relocated to New York and it was there trying to support her family that she became a liscensed foster parent, raising the next 30 years along with her daughter Dr. Lorraine Hale a total of some 40 foster children. In 1973 Hale received government funding for her program. In 1975 Hale purchased a large brownstone building in Harlem which became Hale House. With the help of staff and volunteers, Mother Hale nursed about 1,000 addicted babies at Hale House. In 1985 Mother Hale was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Regan, who called her an "American Hero." In 1989 the government funding stopped and the project continued being maintained by private donations. The program expanded to offer housing and education for mothers who completed their detoxification treatment and a home for mothers and babies with AIDS. Clara "Mother" Hale died at age 87 in 1992. Her program since its beginning has and continues to return hundreds of children to their rehabilitated parents after living and being loved in this unique program.

Bio by: Curtis Jackson

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Curtis Jackson
  • Added: 2 Nov 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6902694
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Clara “Mother” Hale (1 Apr 1905–18 Dec 1992), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6902694, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Unknown.