October 10


October 10, 1927 Hazel Winifred Johnson-Brown, nurse, educator, and the first black female general in the United States Army, was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Johnson-Brown decided to become a nurse as a teenager however her application to the West Chester School of Nursing was rejected because of her race. As a result, she moved to New York City and graduated from the Harlem Hospital School of Nursing. She joined the army in 1955 and served as a staff nurse in Japan and chief nurse in Korea. While in the army, she continued her formal education, earning her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Villanova University in 1959, her Master of Science degree in nursing education from Columbia University in 1963, and her Ph.D. in education administration from Catholic University of America in 1978. From 1976 to 1978, Johnson-Brown served as assistant dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing. In 1979, she became the first black female general in the army where she commanded 7,000 nurses in the Army National Guard and Reserves. She was also the director of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing. After retiring from the army in 1997, Johnson-Brown headed the American Nurses Association’s government relations unit and directed George Mason University’s Center for Health Policy. Johnson-Brown died August 5, 2011.


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