Dr Mae C Jemison, first African-American woman in space, July 1992.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
The first African-American woman in space, Dr. Mae C. Jemison was born on October 17, 1956 in Decatur, Alabama but considers Chicago, Illinois her hometown. She received a Bachelor in Chemical Engineering (and completed the requirements for a Bachelor in African and Afro-American studies) at Stanford University in 1977. Dr. Jemison also received a Doctorate degree in medicine from Cornell University in 1981. After medical school she did post graduate medical training at the Los Angeles County University of Southern California Medical Center. As an area Peace Corps medical officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia in West Africa, she managed the health care delivery system for U.S. Peace Corps and U.S. Embassy personnel. Jemison's background includes work in the areas of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and reproductive biology. She also developed and participated in research projects on the Hepatitis B vaccine and rabies.