Photograph of S. Josephine Baker

S. Josephine Baker

(1873 - 1945)

Born in Poughkeepsie, New York, S. Josephine Baker turned down a scholarship to Vassar and instead attended the Woman’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary after the death of her father. She was the first director of New York’s Bureau of Child Hygiene, and the first woman to earn a doctorate in public health from what would later be called the New York University School of Medicine. Baker was responsible for dramatically decreasing maternal and child mortality rates in the city’s immigrant communities, and also found the time to campaign for women’s suffrage and catch Typhoid Mary twice. Baker retired to a farm in New Jersey where she lived with her partner, the novelist I.A.R. Wylie, and their friend Dr. Louise Pearce. Wylie later wrote in her autobiography that they were a bit of a local oddity for being three women “living amicably and even gaily together,” but that “all three [were] quite reasonably happy.”

All Writing

Voices In Time

1939 | Princeton, NJ

Super Spreader

S. Josephine Baker tracks down Typhoid Mary.More

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