5. Quick facts NAME: Marjorie Lee Browne OCCUPATION: Educator, Mathematician1 BIRTH DATE: September 19, 19142 DEATH DATE: October 19, 19793 EDUCATION: Cambridge University, University of Michigan PLACE OF BIRTH: Memphis, Tennessee4 PLACE OF DEATH: Durham, North Carolina5 Reason of death: Dr. Marjorie Lee Browne died of a heart attack at the age of 65.6 Parents: Mary Taylor Lee and Lawrence Johnson Lee7 Marjorie Lee Browne was a notable mathematics educator, the second African-American woman to receive a doctoral degree in the U.S., and one of the ﬁrst black women to receive a doctorate in mathematics in the U.S.8 Ethnicity: African American9 Gender: F
7. ChildThe second child of Lawrence Johnson Lee, a transportation mail clerk; her step-mother,Lottie Taylor Lee was a school teacher. As a young woman growing up in Memphis and NewOrleans she was an expert tennis player, a singer, an avid reader (a practice patterned fromher father) and a gifted mathematics student.Marjorie went to LeMoyne High School (a private school) after attending public school inMemphis. Then she went on to graduate cum laude from Howard University in 1935. Shebrieﬂy taught at Gilbert Academy in New Orleans. She earned her M.S. in mathematicsfrom the University of Michigan in 1939, then joined the Wiley College faculty in Marshall,Texas, and started working on her doctorate in Michigan during summers. She became ateaching fellow in 1947 at the University of Michigan. In 1949, Marjorie earned herdoctorate in mathematics. She was one of the ﬁrst two Black women to earn a doctorate inmathematics. [Evelyn Boyd Ganville also received a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1949, from YaleUniversity.]
9. SchoolMarjorie Lee Browne received her B.S. in Mathematics from Howard University (1935). Shereceived her M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Michigan in 1939; and thus, she was oneof the ﬁrst few (I know of just three others at that time) African American women with agraduate Mathematics degree. Ms. Browne taught at Wiley College while continuing graduatework during the summers, and received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Michigan(1950). Just six months earlier, in 1949, the second African American woman earned a Ph. D. inMathematics. This was Evelyn Boyd Granville who received a Ph.D. from Yale University. Thus, Dr.Browne was the third African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Mathematics after receivingher Ph.D., Dr. Browne taught at North Carolina Central University until the time of her death in1979. Among her students to earn the Ph.D. in Mathematics were Joseph Battle, William Fletcher,Asamoah Nkwanta, Nathan Simms, .Summary:PhD Institution: University of Michigan, 1949 Dissertation Title: Studies of One ParameterSubgroups of Certain Topological and Matrix GroupsAdvisor: G. Y. Rainich MS Institution:University of Michigan, 1939 BS Institution: Howard University, 1935
11. CollegeDoctor Browne went to North Carolina College (now North Carolina Central University)where she taught mathematics after graduating from Michigan University. She soonbecame the chair of the Mathematics department in 1951; she resigned as department chairin 1970. She stayed at NCCU until she retired in 1979. In the years of 1952-1953, Marjoriewon a Ford Foundation fellowship to study combinatorial Topology at Cambridge Universityand traveled throughout Western Europe. Dr. Browne was a National Science FoundationFaculty Fellow studying computing and numerical analysis at the University of California atLos Angeles. When she studied differential Topology at Columbia University in 1965-66, shewon a similar fellowship.
13. CareersIn 1935, Browne began a teaching career at Gilbert Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana; shetaught physics and mathematics for a year. From 1942 to 1945, she was an instructor atWiley College in Marshall, Texas. In 1949, Browne joined the mathematics faculty at NorthCarolina Central University (NCCU), where she rose to the rank of professor. She was NCCUsﬁrst Mathematics Department Chair (1951-1970).Browne was acutely aware of the obstacles which women and minorities faced in pursuingscientiﬁc careers. Shortly after receiving her doctorate in 1949, she sought, unsuccessfully,to obtain a faculty position at several major research institutions. After receiving manypolite letters of rejection, she decided to remain in the South with the resolve tostrengthen the mathematical preparation of secondary school mathematics teachers andto increase the number of minorities and females in the mathematical sciences; nine ofBrownes students earned a doctorate in the mathematics sciences or related disciplines.Browne was the author of several publications and she was very active in professionalactivities and grantsmanship. She was a member of the Womans Research Society,American Mathematical Society (AMS), Mathematical Association of American (MAA) andothers. In 1960 she received a $60,000 grant from IBM to establish one of the ﬁrstelectronic digital computer centers at a predominantly minority University (1969). Shereceived seven Shell Foundation Scholarship Grants, she directed the ﬁrst UndergraduateResearch Participation Program at NCCU (mid 1960s), sponsored by National ScienceFoundation (NSF); Browne was one of the ﬁrst African American females to serve on anadvisory panel of NSF. She also served as a Faculty Consultant in Mathematics for the FordFoundation (1968-69), Browne received numerous awards/recognitions including a FordFoundation Fellowship (Cambridge University, 1952-1953) and the ﬁrst W.W. Rankinmemorial Award from the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics in 1974. Stilldoing mathematics, Browne died in Durham, North Carolina in October of 1979, the year ofher retirement.
14. Life after school
15. Life after schoolFour years before Marjories retirement, in 1975, Dr. Browne was the ﬁrst recipient of theW.W. Rankin Memorial Award for Excellence in Mathematics Education, given by the NorthCarolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics. "She pioneered in the Mathematics Section ofthe North Carolina Teachers Association, helping to pave the way for integratedorganizations," as the award states. Some students came to her with less than adequatepreparations and she helped them pursue study of mathematics and complete their Ph.D.degrees.In the last years of her life, Marjorie Lee Browne used her own money to help gifted mathstudents pursue their education. Some students came to her with less than adequatepreparations and she helped them pursue study of mathematics and complete their Ph.D.degrees.
18. DeathMarjorie Lee Browne Died of a heart attack on October 19,1979
20. Quote Tuesday, September 09, 2008"I always, always, always like mathematics." Marjorie Lee Browne.
21. Quote Tuesday, September 09, 2008"I always, always, always like mathematics." Marjorie Lee Browne.