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Kobre & Kim Honors Marie Maynard Daly for Black History Month

March 2, 2021

As we conclude the celebration of Black History Month, Kobre & Kim honors the biochemist and STEM advocate, Marie Maynard Daly. 

Ms. Daly was born on April 16, 1921, in Queens, New York into a family that had a deep passion for science. Her father had previously attempted to earn a degree in chemistry from Cornell University, but had to drop due to economic circumstances.

Ms. Daly would carry on his passion and eventually enroll in Queens College, where she completed her bachelor’s degree in chemistry. She later went to Columbia University to continue studying chemistry, eventually earning her chemistry Ph.D. in 1947, making her the first Black American woman in the United States to do so. 

Over the course of her career, Ms. Daly focused her research and work on the human cell nucleus and the function of DNA. Her work helped uncover the connections between diets and hypertension and the effects of various nutrients on artery health, among several other contributions. 

As a Black woman in a profession that was predominantly male and unrepresentative of minorities, Ms. Daly also focused on paving the way for other students of color to enter the STEM field. In 1988, she helped establish a scholarship at Queens College for Black students interested in studying chemistry or physics, and she continued advocating for greater diversity and inclusion in science until her death in 2003.