Carl Van Vechten / U.S. Library of Congress

Mary McLeod Bethune sits for a photo in 1949

Mary McLeod Bethune in 1949, in a photo taken by Carl Van Vechten. The famed educator was born in 1875, so she would have turned 74 years old the year this photo was taken. A few years before this, in 1945, Bethune was the only woman of color to take part in the founding conference of the United Nations. Mary McLeod Bethune died in 1955.

This image of Bethune is now part of the Carl Van Vechten collection in the U.S. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

See our biography of Mary McLeod Bethune