This Day in Black History: Rebecca Lee Crumpler became the first African American woman to receive an M.D. degree

Rebecca Lee Crumpler

HOUSTON – Rebecca Lee Crumpler was born on Feb. 8, 1831 in Christiana, Delaware.

In 1852, Crumpler moved into a Boston, Massachusetts neighborhood, Charlestown, and worked as a nurse with no formal training. Eight years later, Crumpler was accepted into the New England Female Medical College. On Feb. 24, 1864, she became the first African American woman to receive an M.D. degree. After obtaining her degree, Crumpler worked with the Freedmen’s Bureau to provide medical care to freed slaves.

In 1883, Crumpler published her first book A Book of Medical Discourses — notes she kept during her medical career.

On Mar. 9, 1895, Crumpler passed away at the age of 64 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Crumpler’s strength and tender heart to heal others earned her the right to become black history!