Katherine H. Bennett
was an African-American
pioneer for women's collegiate athletics. She was born in Elizabeth City, North Carolina
on October 17, 1922 and attended North Carolina A&T University and was one of the first female black athletes. She later became the physical education director at Virginia State University
. In the 1950s, Bennett authored the guidelines that led to women's sports being accepted in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association
and founded and coached Virginia State University's first female basketball team. She was the first black female collegiate basketball referee in the state of Virginia. In 1987, she was inducted in to the CIAA Hall of Fame, and in 1989, she was inducted into the VSU hall of fame. Katherine married William "Pete" Bennett, a football and track and field All-American who played in the 1941 NFL-College Allstar game and who coached 48 track and field All-Americans and dozens of football All-Americans. William Bennett is considered one of the greatest athletes in the first 50 years of the 20th century. William and Katherine Bennett are considered the 'first family' of athletics at Virginia State University. For more information on William and Katherine Bennett, see HistoryMakers.com (Sports).