GRACE MARILYNN JAMES

WOMEN IN HISTORY

1923 – 1989

Grace Marilynn James

1923 – 1989

Grace Marilynn James

Grace Marilynn James was born in Charleston, West Virginia, to Edward L. James, and Stella Grace Shaw James. She became a practicing pediatrician in Louisville, Kentucky when hospitals in Louisville were racially segregated by law.

At the University of Louisville School of Medicine, James was the first African-American physician on the faculty. She was also one of the first African-American women on the faculty at any southern medical school. Additionally, she was the first African-American woman to serve as an attending physician at Louisville’s Kosair Children’s Hospital.

James attended West Virginia State College. She completed post-graduate work at West Virginia State College and the University of Chicago. She graduated from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee with an M.D. James relocated to New York City and completed a pediatric residency at Harlem Hospital. Additionally, she studied child psychiatry at Creedmoor State Hospital in Queens Village and became a fellow at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

James relocated to Louisville to open a private pediatrics practice and a walk-in clinic for children living in Louisville’s “West End”. She worked for the Louisville city and Jefferson County Health Department and was a pediatrician for the West End Day Care Center. She was the first African-American woman to be granted membership in the Jefferson County Medical Society.