Dorothy Height

Dorothy Height (1912-2010)

Civil Rights and women’s rights activist

Quote: “I want to be remembered as one who tried.”



  • Dorothy Height was born March 24, 1912 in Richmond, Virginia. In her youth, Dorothy participated in anti-lynching campaigns.
  • Height was accepted into Bernard College in New York, but the school changed its mind, saying they had met their quota for black students. She instead applied to New York University and earned her bachelor’s degree in education and master’s degree in psychology.
  • Dorothy began working at the Harlem YWCA in 1937. One of her major accomplishments was directing the integration of all its centers in 1946.
  • In 1963, Dorothy was one of the organizers of the ‘March on Washington’ and, despite being a skilled speaker and leader, was not invited to speak. She later went on to say that her male counterparts “were happy to include women in the human family, but there was no question as to who headed the household.”
  • She went on to help found the National Women’s Political Caucus with Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, and Shirley Chisholm.
  • She passed away in Washington, D.C., on April 20, 2010.

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