It’s Women’s History Month

posted on March 1, 2018 by Amy Scott

Celebrate Women's History Month

Greensboro is home to many influential women in American History. From Local, National to international we celebrate the women of Greensboro. That have help shape the town, and make it home. 

Born or Raised in Greensboro

Loretta Elizabeth Lynch (born May 21, 1959) is an American attorney who served as the 83rd Attorney General of the United States, appointed by President Barack Obama in 2015 to succeed Eric Holder. Lynch was born on May 21, 1959, in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her mother was a school librarian and her father a Baptist minister. As a child, she spent hours with her father, watching court proceedings in the courthouse of Durham, North Carolina. Her early interest in court proceedings was compounded by stories of her grandfather, a sharecropper and pastor, who in the 1930s helped people move to the north to escape persecution under the racist Jim Crow laws of the time.

Debra L. Lee, Esq. (born August 8, 1955) is an American businesswoman. She is currently the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET, the parent company for Black Entertainment Television. Debra L. Lee was born in Fort Jackson, South Carolina and grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina. She attended James B. Dudley High School.

Willa Beatrice Player (August 9, 1909 – August 29, 2003) was an African-American educator, college administrator, college president, civil rights activist, and federal appointee. Player was the first African American woman to become president of a four-year fully accredited liberal arts college when she took the position at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Born or Raised in Greensboro, Stayed in Greensboro

Virginia Ragsdale (December 13, 1870 - June 4, 1945) was a teacher and a mathematician specializing in algebraic curves. She is most known as the creator of the Ragsdale conjecture.

Yvonne Johnson was the mayor of Greensboro, North Carolina from 2007 until 2009. She was previously a member of the Greensboro City Council for 14 years, beginning in 1993 and Mayor Pro-Tem for 6 years. Johnson was the first African-American to serve as Greensboro's mayor

Mary Webb Nicholson was among the earliest women to be licensed as a pilot. Her license, from the U.S. Department of Commerce, is numbered 9562 and was granted Oct. 17, 1929. (She was not, however, the first North Carolina woman to be licensed. Rockingham County native Viola Gentry, preceded Nicholson by a year and a half. Gentry’s license, issued in Feb. 25, 1928, is numbered 1822.) On May 15, 1933, Nicholson earned a limited commercial pilot’s license and her transport license the following year, becoming the first woman in North Carolina to hold both. 

Dee Ann Staley first female deputy chief of Greensboro Fire Department. Staley was among five women to enter the fire department’s training program. Two made it through the training to become firefighters. The other, Kay Pearman, retired from the department as a captain.

Moved to Greensboro/Established Self in Greensboro

Janet Kay Hagan (born May 26, 1953) is an American politician and lobbyist who served as a United States Senator from North Carolina from 2009-15. Previously she served in the North Carolina Senate from 1999 to 2009. She is a member of the Democratic Party. She represented most of central Guilford County, including most of Greensboro

Janet Lilly (born August 15, 1957) is an American modern dancer and choreographer. She was a principal dancer for Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane's company from 1983–1991. She currently serves as the Director of the UNCG College of Visual and Performing Arts, School of Dance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. From 2012–2014 she the president of the Board of Directors of Iyengar Yoga National United States Association

Clara Jane Thornton Peck (March 1, 1862 – 15 June 1926) was an English-born American public health nurse and hospital matron, based in Greensboro, North Carolina. In 1898 she moved to Greensboro, North Carolina. In 1901, as a 39-year-old widow, she trained as a nurse at Greensboro Hospital, and showed such aptitude that she was soon the hospital's first matron. By 1909, "Mother Peck" had the experience and reputation to be selected as Greensboro's first district nurse, by the newly formed District Nurse and Relief Association, and paid by a public subscription drive.

Carolyn Allen first female mayor of Greensboro 1989-1993