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Jane Cooke Wright
*On this date, 1919, Jane Cooke Wright was born. She was a Black doctor and cancer researcher.
Born in New York City, her mother, the former Corinne Cooke, was a substitute teacher in New York City schools. Wright attended school in Manhattan and the Bronx. She graduated from Smith College, where she studied art before becoming medicine. Wright became one of many physicians and researchers in her family. Her father, Louis Tompkins Wright, was a surgeon on the staff of Harlem Hospital. He was the first Black doctor in any New York City staff hospital.
She received a full scholarship to New York Medical College, earning her medical degree in 1945. Before beginning research with her father, she worked as a doctor in city schools. Two years later, she married a lawyer, David D. Jones, with whom she had two daughters. In 1949 she joined her father at Harlem Hospital, where she participated in some of the first chemotherapy studies. Beginning in 1955, Wright became a part of the faculty at New York University, teaching research surgery. In 1967, she returned to New York Medical College in the same capacity, serving as Associate Dean and becoming the Director of their Cancer Research Laboratory.
Dr. Wright had written over 100 articles on cancer therapy. She was appointed to the President's Commission on Heart Disease, Cancer, and Stoke; she has served as a part of the New York Cancer Society, the New York division of the American Cancer Society, and as an editor of the Journal of the National Medical Association. Some of her writings are Lost Talent: Women in the Sciences. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996. Women Changing Science: Insight Books, (1995). The Timetables of Women's History. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996. Dr. Jane Cooke Wright died on February 19, 103, at 93.
Image, New York Times
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