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Wed, 11.30.1910

Pauli Murray. lawyer, administrator and priest

Pauli Murray, 1977

On this date in 1910, Pauli Murray was born. She was an African American lawyer, poet, and minister.

Born in Baltimore, she began her academic schooling at Hunter College (B.A., 1933), Howard University Law School (LL. B., 1944); the University of California Berkeley (LL. M., 1945), and Yale Law School, where she was the first black woman to receive a degree of doctor of juridical science in 1965.

While in her various studies, Murray maintained several careers. She served as deputy attorney general of California in 1946, the first Black to hold that position. From 1968-1973, she was professor of American studies at Brandeis University, and from 1977 to 1984 (when she retired from public life), she was the first Black female Episcopal priest, serving in Washington and Baltimore.

Murray’s published writings include "State’s Laws on Race and Color," 1951, "Dark Treatment and Other Poems," 1970, "Song in a Weary Throat: An American Pilgrimage," 1987, and more.

Murray was named Woman of the Year in 1946 by the National Council of Colored Women and again in 1947 by Mademoiselle Magazine. Serving as one of the 32 founders of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1966, she won the Eleanor Roosevelt Award from the Professional Woman’s Caucus in 1971. She was a remarkably diverse woman who was a pioneer for her gender in a number of areas. Pauli Murray died of cancer in Pittsburgh on July 1, 1985.

Reference:
Black Women in America An Historical Encyclopedia
Volumes 1 and 2, edited by Darlene Clark Hine
Copyright 1993, Carlson Publishing Inc., Brooklyn, New York
ISBN 0-926019-61-9

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