Gines, Bernadine Alberta Coles
- Theresa A. Hammond
certified public accountant (CPA), was born Bernadine Alberta Coles in Charlottesville, Virginia, to Bernard Albert Coles, a dentist, and the former Ruth Wyatt, a teacher. Bernadine and her younger sister enjoyed playing “office” so much that she once asked Santa Claus to bring her paper clips for Christmas. Later her grandfather gave the girls a portable typewriter, further encouraging their interest. Bernadine was the oldest of three daughters (the second of whom, Ruth Coles Harris, became the first African American female CPA in Virginia in 1963 and her father encouraged her to follow in his footsteps and become a dentist But she wasn t interested partly because she did not know any female dentists She also considered becoming a teacher like her mother but believed she lacked the patience required for that field As valedictorian of her class at Jefferson High School in Charlottesville she was awarded ...
A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.