October 19th in African American History – Marjorie Lee Browne

Marjorie Lee Browne

Marjorie Lee Browne

October 19, 1979 Marjorie Lee Browne, educator and one of the first African American women to earn a doctorate in mathematics, died.

Browne was born September 9, 1914 in Memphis, Tennessee. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics cum laude from Howard University in 1935 and her Master of Science degree from the University of Michigan in 1939. Browne earned her Ph.D. in mathematics from Michigan in 1949. She then joined the faculty of North Carolina College (now North Carolina Central University) where she taught and researched for 30 years.

In 1960, she wrote a grant that resulted in the IBM Corporation providing NCCU with a computer, one of the first computers in academic computing. Browne also established summer institutes to provide continuing education in mathematics for high school teachers and in 1974 was the first recipient of the W.W. Rankin Memorial Award for Excellence in Mathematics Education. In 2001, the University of Michigan established the Marjorie Lee Browne Colloquium and NCCU annually offers the Marjorie Lee Brown Scholarship to students majoring in mathematics.

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