Dorothy Height (1912-2010)

Height-crop2.jpgDr. Dorothy Height was born in Richmond, VA, in 1912 and was educated in the public schools of Rankin, PA, a small town outside of Pittsburgh. Dr. Height won an oratorical scholarship, which, along with a record of scholastic excellence, allowed her to enroll in New York University where she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in 4 years. Dr. Height did further postgraduate work at Columbia University and the New York School of Social Work.
Dr. Height was among the coalition of African American leaders who pushed civil rights to the center of the American political stage after World War II, and she was a key figure in the struggles for school desegregation, voting rights, employment opportunities, and public accommodations in the 1950s and 1960s. Dr. Height often was known as the “Godmother of the Civil Rights Movement." President Barack Obama stated that “She never cared about who got the credit. What she cared about was the cause. The cause of justice, the cause of equality, the cause of opportunity, freedom’s cause.” (Text source:

About the photo: Dorothy Height, center, at a meeting of civil rights leaders in April 1968. Clockwise from front: President Lyndon Johnson, unknown individual, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Judge Leon Higginbotham, MD state senator Clarence Mitchell III, Height, DC mayor Walter Washington, Warren Christopher, Whitney M. Young Jr., Clarence Mitchell Jr. (seated), Bayard Rustin (partially obscured), Rev. Leon Sullivan. Photo by Yoichi Okamoto. LBJ Library.