Dr. Mildred Fay Jefferson was born in 1927 in Pittsburg, Texas - the daughter of Gurthie Roberts Jefferson, a public school teacher, and Millard F. Jefferson, a Methodist minister. She attended public schools in East Texas and entered Harvard Medical School in 1947 after receiving a B.A degree summa cum laude from Texas College in Tyler, Texas and a M.S. degree from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.
Jefferson became the first African American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School in 1951. She was the first woman to be a surgical intern at Boston City Hospital and the first woman admitted to membership in the Boston Surgical Society. She is, however, best-known for her longtime support and involvement in the “right-to-life movement” in America. She helped to establish the National Right to Life Committee and served three times as its president. She has been a local, regional and national speaker and activist.
After her Harvard Medical School graduation, Jefferson served as a general surgeon with the former Boston University Medical Center and Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at Boston University Medical School.
Jefferson has had a career-long interest in medical jurisprudence, medical ethics and the interface between medicine and law, as well as their impact on public policy and society. As a founding member of state and national “right-to-life” organizations, she is president of Right to Life Crusade.
Jefferson is a founding member of the Board of Governors and a past President of the Value of Life Committee of Massachusetts and is also active with the American Life League and Americans United for Life Legal Defense Fund. Jefferson is also a member of Black Americans for Life and is held in high esteem by Feminists for Life. Jefferson passed away on October 18, 2010.