See biography by R. Holt (1964).
(born July 10, 1875, Mayesville, S.C., U.S.—died May 18, 1955, Daytona Beach, Fla.) U.S. educator. Born to former slaves, she made her way through college and in 1904 founded a school that later became part of Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Fla. She was president of the college in 1923–42 and 1946–47, also serving as a special adviser to Pres. Franklin Roosevelt. Prominent in African-American organizations, particularly women's groups, she directed the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration (1936–44).
Learn more about Bethune, Mary (Jane) McLeod with a free trial on Britannica.com.