Euphemia Lofton Haynes made history in 1943 by becoming the first Black woman in the United States to earn a Ph.D. in Mathematics in the United States. The Washington, D.C. native was born September 11, 1890.
The math pioneer was born Martha Euphemia Lofton to a dentist father and kindergarten teacher mother. She attended undergrad at Smith College, earning her bachelor’s in Mathematics. After marrying Harold Haynes, she earned a master’s in Education from the University of Chicago, then established the math department at Miners Teachers College, now known as the University of the District of Columbia in 1930.
Haynes, who remained at UDC, earned her Ph.D. at 53 from the Catholic University of America, working nearly five decades in Washington’s education system at varying levels. She retired from teaching in 1959, but went on to champion education by joining Washington’s Board of Education, becoming its president and chairperson in 1966, the first woman to do so. Throughout her career, Haynes was an advocate of combating racial segregation in D.C. schools.
Euphemia Haynes passed in 1980.
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