sciencechicks:

Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes (1890-1980) was an American mathematician and educator. She was the first African-American woman to gain a PhD in mathematics, from the Catholic University of America in 1943.

Euphemia Lofton was the daughter of William S. Lofton, a dentist and financier, and Lavinia Day Lofton. After graduating from Washington D.C. Miner Normal School with distinction, she went on to earn an undergraduate mathematics major (and psychology minor) from Smith College in 1914. In 1917 she married Harold Appo Haynes. She got her masters degree in education from the University of Chicago in 1930, and in 1943 gained her PhD at age 53. Her dissertation was titled “The Determination of Sets of Independent Conditions Characterizing Certain Special Cases of Symmetric Correspondences.

Dr. Haynes spent 47 years teaching math in D.C.’s public schools; in 1959, she became head of the city’s Board of Education, and was instrumental in desegregating the high school she attended four decades prior. She also established a mathematics department at her teachers’ college, and established a scholarship fund upon her death.