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On this date in 1919, we celebrate the birth of Elizabeth Koontz, a Black educator and politician.
Elizabeth Duncan Koontz was born in Salisbury, N.C., and attended that city’s public school system. She graduated from Livingstone College in 1938. Koontz attained her Masters Degree from Atlanta University in 1941, and did further study at Columbia University. A classroom teacher who devoted her entire life to education, Koontz also served as the first Black woman president of the National Education Association (NEA) in 1968.
During the Nixon administration, she was the director of the Woman’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor. She retired in 1982, receiving many awards, citations, honors, and honorary degrees. These give testimony to the esteem and appreciation, felt by those she served. Elizabeth Duncan Koontz died of a heart attack in 1989.
Black Women in America An Historical Encyclopedia
Volumes 1 and 2, edited by Darlene Clark Hine
Copyright 1993, Carlson Publishing Inc., Brooklyn, New York