Esther McCready

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Esther McCready (born January 10, 1931) is a retired nurse and teacher who desegregated the University of Maryland School of Nursing in 1950.[1] The case was filed in 1949 in Baltimore City Court by National Association for the Advancement of Colored People lawyers Charles Hamilton Houston and Donald Gaines Murray[2] (McCready v. Byrd, 1949). After the court sided with the university, the case went to the Maryland Court of Appeals where it was argued by Houston, Murray, and Thurgood Marshall[3] The lower court’s ruling was overturned by the Maryland Court of Appeals and McCready began classes on September 5, 1950.[4] She is in the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame.

After she graduated in 1953,[5] McCready continued her career working for Druid Health Center, Morgan State University as Head Nurse, Cornell Medical Center in Post-Operative Recovery, Harlem Hospital in the Emergency Room, and at New York University. Her career also included years as a general education teacher in public school in New York. In addition to nursing, McCready attended the Manhattan School of Music where she earned a Master's degree. She participated in traveling Opera groups who toured around United States and Europe.[6]

Early life[edit]

Esther McCready was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Her parents, John and Elizabeth McCready, both were not involved in medicine or politics. She grew up with three other siblings in a loving household.[7] From a young age, Esther always knew she wanted to be in the nursing field from watching the way nurses worked during her visits to the hospital for routine check-ups.


  1. ^ A Maryland Pioneer: at 78 Esther McCready Serves As A Volunteer At the University Where She Broke Down Racial Barriers 60 Years Ago. Jacques Kelly. The Baltimore Sun, April 20, 2009.
  2. ^ Suit Filed Against U. of Md., 6 Pending: Racial Policy Forced Action Other Suits to Be Filed This Week. The Baltimore Afro-American, Aug 6, 1949, pg. C7.
  3. ^ Equality’s struggles: Baltimoreans reflect on Civil Rights era and their struggles for equality. Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun, June 28, 2014.
  4. ^ Negro Nurse Studying At University: Supreme Court Refusal To Act Reveals Girl Is In Hospital Class. The Sun, Oct 10, 1950, pg. 34.
  5. ^ "Esther McCready , MSA SC 3520-14290". Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  6. ^ 01, Conference Room. "Esther McCready, Maryland Women's Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  7. ^ "Esther McCready, RN: Nursing Advocate for Civil Rights". Retrieved 2018-03-08.

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