Annie Elizabeth “Bessie” Delany
On September 25, 1995 at age 104, Annie Elizabeth “Bessie” Delany died in Mount Vernon, New York. Delany was the second African American dentist in the state of New York. After receiving her undergraduate degree at Saint Augustine’s School (now University) in Raleigh, North Carolina where her father was the Vice Principal and her mother was a teacher and administrator, she attended and graduated from Columbia University in 1923 with a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) Degree. Although, Dr. Delaney was quite accomplished with her achievements in dental medicine and participation in civil rights, she was over 100 years old before she received national fame. She and her older sister Sadie were interviewed by Amy Hill Hearth for the New York Times and later had a book written about their struggles and memories of over 100 years. The book entitled “Having our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years”. was a hit on the New York Times bestseller lists. It was eventually turned into a Broadway play and television movie. Delaney’s father, Rev. Henry Beard Delaney was the first African American who was elected a Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States. She was born to Rev. Delaney and Nanny Logan Delany on September 3, 1891 in Raleigh.