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Kara M. McClurken

physician, chemotherapist, and educator, was born Jane Cooke Wright in New York City to Louis Tompkins Wright, a cancer researcher, surgeon, and civil rights leader, and Corrine Cooke, a teacher in the New York City school system. She attended Ethical Culture and Fieldston Schools before entering Smith College in 1938 where she initially contemplated a career in art rather than the sciences She loved to paint was a member of Smith s honorary art society and had served as the art editor of her high school yearbook Her father however feared that life as an artist would be an uncertain one and at the end of her sophomore year she chose a premed major Ultimately Jane Wright was drawn to the field because of a desire to serve with both the heart and mind Wright 7 She won a scholarship to New York Medical ...

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Amy M. Hay

Jane Cooke Wright demonstrates in her life the importance of family, institutions, and the professions to African American women. Wright continued a family tradition, following her paternal grandfather and father in attaining distinction in the medical profession.

Jane Cooke Wright was the first daughter of Louis Tompkins Wright and Corinne (Cooke) Wright. Her paternal grandfather graduated from the Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, a school renowned for educating black physicians. Her father went to Harvard Medical School and was one of that institution’s first black graduates. Wright attended private elementary schools in New York City and won a four-year scholarship to Smith College. She swam competitively in both high school and college, setting varsity records at Smith.

She obtained her medical degree, with honors, from New York Medical College in 1945 in an accelerated three year program She completed her internship and residency at Harlem Hospital In ...