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Women’s History Month

Our History Is Your History

Ethel Waters (October 31, 1896 – September 1, 1977)

Waters is best known for her singing and acting abilities and in 1939 she became the first African American to have her own television program. Waters was nominated for an Oscar in the supporting actress category for her role in the movie Pinky.

Waters faced tax problems due to poor management; this resulted in her belongings being seized by the IRS. In addition to her tax problems Waters was the victim of a robbery and lost thousands of dollars worth of personal property. Waters died in 1977 from Kidney failure.

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