Harris, Patricia Roberts (31 May 1924–23 March 1985), cabinet member and ambassador, was born in Mattoon, Illinois, the daughter of Bert Fitzgerald Roberts, a Pullman car waiter, and Hildren Brodie Johnson, a schoolteacher. After graduating from a Chicago high school, she entered Howard University, from which she was graduated, summa cum laude, with an A.B. in 1945. In 1943, while a student at Howard, she joined the nascent civil rights movement and participated in a sit-in to desegregate a cafeteria lunch counter in Washington, D.C. Roberts did graduate work at the University of Chicago. In 1946, while attending graduate school, she was also program director of the local YWCA. In 1949 she returned to Washington, D.C., where she pursued further graduate study at the American University until 1950. From 1949 to 1953 she served as an assistant director in the Civil Rights Agency of the American Council on Human Rights. Married in 1955 to attorney William B. Harris, who encouraged her to enter law school (the marriage was childless), she earned a J.D. degree at the George Washington University Law Center in 1960. Recognized early in her youth as an outstanding and diligent student, Harris graduated first out of ninety-four in her class....
Judith R. Johnson
Geoffrey C. Ward
Roosevelt, Eleanor (11 October 1884–07 November 1962), first lady of the United States, social reformer, politician, diplomat, was born Anna Eleanor Roosevelt in New York City, the daughter of Elliott Roosevelt and Anna Hall. Her childhood was materially comfortable—both sides of her family were wealthy and prominent in New York society—but it was also emotionally arid. Her mother, beautiful but distant and so disappointed in the looks of her daughter that she called her “granny,” died when Eleanor was eight. Her youngest brother died the following year. She clung to her father, the younger brother of ...