Page 9 - Amazing Black Lives
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Dr. Patricia Bath


                   Ophthalmologist, Inventor, Humanitarian, Academic



                   The name Dr. Patricia Era Bath may not be
                   on the tip of the tongue of most Americans,
                   but this medical legend made a major
                   impact on millions of people age forty and
                   older and on nearly half of Americans age
                   seventy-five and older.     She brought light
                   and sight to many, not just in the United
                   States, but worldwide.

                   Patricia Bath was born on November 4,
                   1942 in the Harlem neighborhood of New
                   York City, New York.      Her father, Rupert
                   Bath, was an immigrant from Trinidad, the
                   first black motorman for the NYC subway
                   system.    Her mother, Gladys, a descendant of African slaves and Cherokee
                   Native Americans, was a domestic worker and housewife who saved her
                   money to put toward her children’s education.        Academics were a priority in
                   the Bath household.     Patricia developed her love for science as a young girl
                   after she was given a chemistry set by her mother.      An excellent student, she
                   was one of a handful of teens to receive a grant in 1959 from the National
                   Science Foundation to attend the Summer Institute in BioMedical Science at
                   Yeshiva University in New York.         There, at age sixteen, she studied the
                   relationship between cancer, nutrition and stress.      The head of the program,
                   Dr. Robert Bernard, was so impressed by her discoveries and work during the
                   session that he quoted her findings in a scientific paper he presented at a
                   professional conference some time after the workshop.             In 1960, at age
                   eighteen, Bath was awarded a Merit Award by Mademoiselle magazine for
                   these discoveries, after all the public attention they had garnered.           She
                   graduated from high school in two years, then graduated from Hunter College,
                   during which time she met Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a brief meeting
                   that changed her perspective. Then, following graduation, she earned her
                                                                           medical    degree     from
                                                                           Howard University, with
                                                                           honors.   There, she was
                                                                           awarded the Edwin J.
                                                                           Watson       Prize      for
                                                                           Outstanding Student in
                                                                           Opthamology.


                                                                           In   1973,     Dr.    Bath
                                                                           completed    her medical
                                                                           residency in opthamology,
                                                                           medicine    of   the   eye,
                                                                           becoming the first African
                                                                           American to do so.       In
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