Women’s History Month: Edith Irby Jones

Edith Irby Jones
Courtesy: Arkansas State Archives

Born: December 23, 1927 near Conway, Arkansas

Died: July 15, 2019 in Houston, Texas

Bio: Edith Irby Jones was the first African American to attend and graduate from the University of Arkansas Medical School, now the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. She was also the first African American accepted at any medical school in the South. In 1985, she was elected the first female president of the National Medical Association. She was also the only female founding member of the Association of Black Cardiologists. Jones was a charter member of Physicians for Human Rights, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997.

Not only was she a pioneer in the desegregation of higher education in Arkansas and the South, but she also served as a highly successful doctor, educator and philanthropist in Arkansas, Texas and overseas.

You can learn more about the life of Edith Irby Jones at the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.