Born in Bristol, England in 1821, Blackwell was raised in a liberal, abolitionist family that believed in the equal education of men and women. She and her family emigrated to the United States when she was 11 years old, settling in Cincinnati, Ohio. After the death of her father, Blackwell worked as a teacher in order to support her family.
In 1847, Blackwell began her journey to become a doctor. She applied to multiple medical schools, but was rejected from all of them due to her gender. Finally, a small, all-male college in western New York called Geneva Medical College accepted her application. Blackwell faced many obstacles during her time at Geneva, including discrimination from her male classmates and lack of resources for women in the field of medicine. However, she persevered and graduated at the top of her class in 1849.
After graduation, Blackwell traveled to Europe to gain further medical training and experience. She opened a medical clinic in London to help poor women receive medical care, and later opened the New York Infirmary for Women and Children in 1857, providing care for women and children who otherwise would not have access to medical services.
In addition to her work as a physician, Blackwell was also a vocal activist for women’s rights and suffrage, and helped to establish a women’s medical school in New York City.
She died on 31 May 1910 at the age of 89
Blackwell’s legacy continues to inspire and empower women to this day. Her groundbreaking achievement and unwavering dedication to medicine and women’s rights are a testament to the strength and resilience of women in the face of adversity.