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Dr. Ethelene Jones Crockett

1934

Dr. Ethelene Jones Crockett gave of her time and talents as a physician, community leader and humanitarian.

Dr. Crockett (1914-1978) attended Jackson High School and graduated from Jackson Junior College in 1934. She began medical school at Howard University when she was 28 years old, when she was married to George W. Crockett Jr., later a Congressman, and also the mother of three children. She became Michigan’s first black woman specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. For 35 years, she practiced medicine as an outstanding obstetrician in Detroit and received the Detroit Medical Society’s “Physician of the Year” award in 1977.

She was an advocate for day care centers to assist working women. She frequently lectured on family planning and public health care. In 1980 the first Detroit Public School Vocational-Technical Center was dedicated in her honor as the career training center for the health occupations. She was the first woman to be president of the American Lung Association, the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization. She served on the Detroit Public Library Commission and as an officer for the Michigan Cancer Society. In 1971 the Detroit Free Press cited Dr. Crockett as one of the “nine of Detroit’s Most Successful Women.” She received the “Woman of the Year” Award from Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Beta Omicron Zeta Chapter in 1972. In 1973 the Howard University Alumni Federation, Washington, D.C., cited her “For Conspicuous Service to Her Profession and Community.”

Dr. Crockett came of age in the midst of the Great Depression. A black woman from a poor family, she was able to go to college and then to medical school. “If you want something badly… and if you can communicate that desire to others … what you want can be had,” were her words in explaining her accomplishments.

–Material taken from Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame website. Dr. Crockett was inducted in 1988.