Civil rights trailblazer remembered for advancing medicine in Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A beloved community leader and true legend in the city of Houston has died.

Dr. Edith Irby Jones was the first black intern at the Baylor College of Medicine and the first woman to be president of the National Medical Association.

Even after she built up her career, she made sure she helped all people get medical treatment.

Dr. Jones was a groundbreaking figure for civil rights and medicine, and the first African American student in her entire medical school.

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Her family announced her passing Monday at the age of 91.

Jones was born in 1927 in rural Arkansas. At the Medical School of the University of Arkansas, she was the only black student and one of the few women in the class.

She went on to open her own practice in Arkansas before she and her husband moved to Houston, as detailed in a UH biography.

Segregation often dictated which hospitals she could train at despite her impressive qualifications.

She eventually opened a practice in the Third Ward in the 1960s and she continued to fight for those in need.

Jones worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., during the civil rights movement.

Dr. Jones will be remembered for her contributions to medicine, and also for making extraordinary advances in a time when segregation was designed to stop her. She refused to quit.

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