Sadie Alexander was a trailblazer and pioneering Black professional. She was the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in economics in the United States. She was also a civil rights activist. However, she is best remembered for her accomplishments as a civil rights activist. Read about her life, achievements, and legacy below. Featured in the film A Civil War in a White House, she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1961.
In 1898, Sadie Alexander was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Samuel Mossell, the first African-American to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania’s law school. She was also the first Black woman admitted to the Pennsylvania bar. Her husband, Liron Anderson-Bell, was also an attorney. Together, they became important figures in the civil rights movement. Both Alexander and her husband held positions with the National Urban League and the ACLU. She was appointed to President Harry Truman’s committee on civil rights and he named her to the Council on Aging.