Mae Jemison was born on October 17, 1956 in Decatur, Alabama, to Charlie Jemison and Dorothy Green. Mae Jemison and her family moved to Chicago in 1959. Even as a young child of 5, Mae Jemison knew she wanted to be a scientist and went on to become a doctor and an astronaut.
After graduating high school in 1973, she received a National Achievement Scholarship and went to Stanford University. Mae Jemison graduated in 1977 with a B.S. in chemical engineering and a B.A. in African and African-American Studies. She went to Cornell University and in 1981 received her doctorate's degree in medicine.
Dr. Jemison was a general practitioner for 2 years. She then joined the Peace Corps as a volunteer and served from 1983 to 1985 in the African countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone. Upon her return to the United States, she applied to be admitted into the astronaut training program at NASA.
In 1987, Dr. Jemison gained admission, becoming the first African-American woman to be accepted into the program, and trained for 1 year to become an astronaut. In 1992, Dr. Jemison became the first African-American woman in space aboard the Endeavor spacecraft. She was a mission specialist and worked on bone cell research experiments.
After her accomplishments, she left NASA in 1993 to take a teaching fellowship position at Dartmouth College. Dr. Jemison received many awards and established her own company called the Jemison Group, which is involved in technology research. She was a professor at Dartmouth from 1995 to 2002 and also went on to establish a medical device company and the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence.