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Marie Maynard Daly: Chemist & Odd-Defier

Marie Maynard Daly: Chemist & Odd-Defier

In 1947, Marie Maynard Daly was the first African American women to earn a PH. D. in chemistry. Daly’s parents imparted into her their love of science, and the importance of an education. Daly’s father (Ivan C. Daly) went to Cornell University for chemistry but had to drop out because of financial hardship. Marie Daly followed her father’s path to receive her bachelor’s in chemistry from Queens College and she received her Doctorate in chemistry from Colombia university after having gained her masters from New York university. Daly was a biochemistry professor, leading studies on histones, the chemistry of heart attacks and protein synthesis. Daly’s research discovered the relationship between high cholesterol and clogged arteries.

Daly defied all expectations and stereotypes used against her race and gender, and she defined what it meant to be an African American woman. Daly contributed to her society by paving a way for not only black students, but minorities who felt as though they couldn’t achieve their goals because of society being against them and their accomplishments.

Mrs. Daly created a scholarship fund for African American science students at Queens College, and she also spent her time developing programs to increase the enrollment of minorities into medical school and graduate science program. Mrs. Daly will be forever remembered by her determination to get the education she knew she deserved and to defy all the odds put against her.


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