Bea Gaddy
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Notable Maryland African-Americans

Former City Councilwoman Bea Gaddy died of breast cancer in October 2001 at 68, but her legacy lives on with an annual Thanksgiving dinner that has fed thousands of Baltimore families searching for a hot holiday meal.

[Compiled from Baltimore Sun archives] (Dec. 1988 file photo by Irving H. Phillips Jr.)
Carson retired from a celebrated career in neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medicine in 2013 after making controversial statements about same-sex marriage. He is now a popular conservative political figure. (Baltimore Sun photo by Karl Merton Ferron)
Baltimore native and philanthropist Reginald F. Lewis established the first African American law firm on Wall Street, according to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, which opened in 2005.  (Handout photo by Ira Block)
Abolitionist Frederick Douglass was born in Maryland in 1818.  (AP photo)

Henrietta Lacks’ cells were the first to survive outside the human body in a glass tube. Her cells have been used worldwide for medical study and research. She died in 1951 of ovarian cancer at Johns Hopkins. 

Baltimore native and boxer Joe Gans was known as the “greatest lightweight who ever lived” before he died of tuberculosis in 1910 at age 35. (File photo)

Robert Curbeam, a former NASA astronaut, was the first African-American to visit the International Space Station. He also set the record for the most spacewalks in a single mission.

 (Paul Kizzle / Associated Press)
In a 1996 photo, Victorine Q. Adams (left) looks at photos with members of the Colored Women’s Democratic Campaign Committee, a group she founded more than 50 years ago. (Sun photo by Andre F. Chung)
Mathematician, astronomer, surveyor and publisher Benjamin Banneker was born in Maryland in 1731. A historical park and museum honors his memory on the land where his family once lived in Oella. (Associated Publishers, Inc.)
Acclaimed jazz composer and pianist Eubie Blake wrote the Broadway musical “Shuffle Along” with Noble Sissle. (File photo)
Clarence H. “Du” Burns was Baltimore’s first black mayor in 1987. (Sun file photo)
Judge Harry A. Cole was the first African-American to serve on Maryland’s highest court and the first elected to the state Senate. (Sun file photo)
Former Negro League player and baseball Hall-of-Famer Leon Day played for the Baltimore Black Sox and the Baltimore Elite Giants. (Sun file photo)
W.E.B. Du Bois was a civil rights leader, scholar and one of the founders of the NAACP.  (Bettman Archive)
Matthew A. Henson was a co-discoverer of the North Pole in 1909. (File Photo / Baltimore Sun)
Billie Holiday, nicknamed “Lady Day,” was considered by many to be the greatest of all jazz singers. (handout / Baltimore Sun)
Civil rights leader Dr. Lillie May Carroll Jackson was the president of the Baltimore branch of the NAACP for nearly 35 years. (Sun file photo)
Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange, was an educator and founder and first superior of the Oblate Sisters of Providence. (Courtesy St. Frances Academy)
Ellis Larkins was a celebrated jazz pianist who was an accompanist for Ella Fitzgerald and other jazz greats. (Sun file photo by Andre F. Chung)
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in 1989. (AP photo)
NAACP President Enolia P. McMillan and the Rev. John Wright begin their journey to Ocean City’s Boardwalk in 1986 to demonstrate against businesses’ hiring practices. (Sun file photo)
Clarence M. Mitchell Jr., left, was a civil rights leader known as the “101st Senator” for his influence in Congress. Pictured with Lyndon B. Johnson, right. ()
Dr. Carl J. Murphy, was a publisher, civil rights activist and educator. Under his leadership, the Baltimore Afro-American became one of the largest circulating, most influential and most financial successful African-American newspapers in the country. (Maryland Historical Society)
Historian, author and Morgan State professor Benjamin A. Quarles (Walter M. McCardell)
Vivien Thomas was the ‘technician’ who helped Dr. Alfred Blalock and Dr. Helen Taussig develop the ‘blue baby’ operation at Johns Hopkins. (Sun file photo)
Harriet Tubman was a former slave born in Dorchester County who helped lead the underground railroad. ()
Baltimore native Chick Webb was swing-era jazz drummer known for “Stompin’ at the Savoy.” (Sun files)
Verda Freeman Welcome was a state legislator and civic activist. She was the first black woman to be elected to the state Senate in Maryland. (File photo)