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Sampson, Edith  

Erin L. Thompson

activist, delegate to the United Nations, judge. Born Edith Spurlock in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to a shipping clerk and a hatmaker, Sampson's childhood was poor. At age fourteen she left school to work in a fish market. After returning to high school and graduating, Sampson attended the New York School of Social Work. There, she met and married Rufus Sampson, a field agent for the Tuskegee Institute.

When her husband was transferred to Chicago, Sampson found work surveying conditions in the city's South Side neighborhoods for the Young Women's Christian Association while also taking courses at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. In the 1920s Sampson worked for the Illinois Children's Home and Aid Society while attending the night program at John Marshall Law School. She graduated in 1925 and enrolled in the Loyola University Law School to obtain an LLM master of laws ...


Sampson, Edith Spurlock  

Angela Black

attorney and jurist, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one of eight children of Louis Spurlock and Elizabeth A. McGruder. Her father managed a cleaning and dyeing business. Her mother worked from home as a weaver and retail merchant of buckram hat frame switches. Her parents eventually saved enough money to buy a home, which was unusual for urban African Americans in the early twentieth century. Although the Spurlocks were poor, they never lacked food and were always clean and neatly dressed. Everyone, including Spurlock's brothers and sisters, worked to contribute to the household income. During grade school Edith had to quit school and work full-time to help support her family. When finances permitted, she eventually resumed her studies and graduated from Peabody High School.

Spurlock was always a high academic achiever When she graduated from high school her Sunday school teacher helped her get a job with Associated ...


Sampson, Edith Spurlock  

Jaime McLean

Edith Spurlock Sampson was the first black woman to serve as a judge in Illinois and the first African American to be appointed to represent the United States at both the United Nations (UN) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Although her career spanned the globe, she maintained a concern for children’s rights and family welfare. Her commitment to these causes determined the path of her career and defined her professional goals throughout her life.

Sampson was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Louis and Elizabeth Spurlock Sampson s father worked as a shipping clerk for seventy five dollars a month a sum her mother supplemented by making hat frames and twisting switches of artificial hair Between them Elizabeth and Louis were able to purchase a house and offer a comfortable if not extravagant life for their children Sampson attended Lincoln and Larimer Elementary Schools but took a ...