Happy Birthday to the Late Great Edith Spurlock Sampson, a Pioneer in U.S. Diplomacy

0 Posted by - October 13, 2020 - Birthdays

Photo credits: Research Library of the Illinois History Journal

Attorney and judge Edith Spurlock Sampson (pictured right) the first African-American to be appointed to the United Nations, was born on Oct. 13, 1898, in Pittsburgh.

In 1950, President Harry Truman appointed Sampson an alternate delegate to the General Assembly of the United Nations, making her the first African-American woman to serve as a representative to the U.N.

In her capacity as a representative, she worked on issues of land reform, reparation of prisoners, and repatriation of Greek children.

Sampson was born into tough economic times in a family of eight children. Despite leaving school at age 14 to work in a fish market to help support her struggling family, Sampson eventually finished high school and attended the New York School of Social Work.

Sampson later attended the John Marshall Law School, earning her J.D., and then attended Loyola University School of Law where she earned her Master of Laws degree.

She passed away on October 8, 1979 in Chicago, Illinois at the age of 80.

Source: “This Day in Black History: Oct. 13, 1898” by N. Aziz for the BET Network via BET.com

*BlackThen.com writer and historian Victor Trammell edited and contributed to this report.

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