Mary M. Bethea

January Honoree: Mary M. Bethea Entrepreneur, Mentor and Author

Mary Magdalene Bethea was born November 1, 1921, in Charleston, South  Carolina. She was raised by her parents, Esau and Mary Washington, along with her two sisters and two brothers. Inspired by her parents to pursue dreams of economic independence, Bethea enrolled at Poro Beauty School in Columbia after receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Benedict College. The only beauty school owned by and operated for African Americans in the state of South Carolina, Poro Beauty School not only inspired her love of cosmetology as a career, but also became the place where she met her future husband,...Read Full Bio

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