All That’s Black: Marie Maynard Daly

Marie Maynard Daly, chemist and researcher:

“Courage is like — it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: you get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.”

Born in Queens, New York to a family that believed in education Marie always wanted to attend college and so, upon graduating from high school, she made quick succession of attending not 1, but 3 colleges (Queens College, New York University and Columbia University), pursuing a bachelor’s, graduate and doctoral degree-the first African-American woman in history to receive a Ph. D. in Chemistry in the U.S.

Fascinated by how chemicals digested food, Marie used a grant from the American Cancer Society, to further study how proteins were constructed in the body. This work helped her understand the connection between high cholesterol, clogged arteries and heart attacks. Daly was also a champion for others, helping students of colour get into medical and graduate science programs.

So the next time you eat your Honey Nut Cheerios because you know they’re heart-healthy, you should probably be giving a nod to Marie Maynard Daly.

By Aprille’ Morris & Emily Burke

Edited By Keshav Kant

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