By Anyssa Garza, PharmD, BCMAS – Digital Pharmacist Staff
Elizabeth Gooking Greenleaf is recognized as the first female pharmacist in the United States. Not only was she a mother to twelve children, she is considered the mother of pharmacy too.
Elizabeth opened her own apothecary shop in 1727 in Boston. Her husband, Daniel Greenleaf, a physician soon followed and they spent the rest of their lives running the apothecary together. She was the only female among 32 New England apothecaries in the early 1700s. Elizabeth died in 1762 but her legacy lived on and showed women across the country that a career in pharmacy was possible.
This Mother’s Day we want to pay tribute to Elizabeth and to other exceptional women whose trailblazing impact set the stage for the success of female pharmacists today.
- Elizabeth Marshall (1768-1826) is recognized as the second woman to be a pharmacist in the United States.
- Mary Corinna Putnam Jacobi (1842–1906) graduated from the New York College of Pharmacy in 1863 — becoming the first woman to graduate from a school of pharmacy.
- Mary Olds Miner owned a pharmacy with her husband in Kansas. She was elected as APhA third vice president in 1895 — becoming the first woman to serve as an APhA officer.
- Zada Mary Cooper (1875–1961) graduated in 1872 and then served as the secretary of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy from 1922 to 1942. Not only is she the founder the Rho Chi Society of Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, she is one of the founders of the Women’s Section of APhA. She is known for her support of women in pharmacy which has given her the title “grand and glorious lady of pharmacy.”
These women’s bravery and entrepreneurship have inspired women to join the profession of pharmacy. In fact, women make up slightly more than 50% of all full-time pharmacists.
Happy Mother’s Day to these women pioneers and to all the mothers out there whether you are a present or soon to be a mom. May your day be extra special.
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