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Mary McLeod Bethune Facts

Educator, Racial Justice Activist, Government Official

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Portrait of Dr Mary McLeod Bethune 1943

Portrait of Dr Mary McLeod Bethune 1943

Gordon Parks / Archive Photos / Getty Images

Known for: improving educational opportunities for African Americans; president, National Association of Colored Women; founder, National Council of Negro Women. Her statue in Washington, DC, was the first statue depicting any woman or African American in any park in the nation's capital. Her home is a National Historic Landmark.

Dates: July 10, 1875 - May 18, 1955

Occupation: educator, racial justice activist, New Deal government official

About Mary McLeod Bethune:

Mary McLeod Bethune was the founder of Bethune-Cookman College. She also served as a New Deal government official -- she was one of the 20 highest-level offices held by women in the administration, and the highest held by an African American woman. She played a key role in founding FDR's "black cabinet." She also served as president of the National Association of Colored Women, and she founded and served as president of the National Council of Negro Women.

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