From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Ainsworth, Marilyn V. Yarbrough

(born: 1945  -  died: 2004) 

Marilyn Virginia Yarbrough was born in Bowling Green, KY to Merca L. Toole and William O. Yarbrough; the family moved to Raleigh, NC when Marilyn was a child.

An 1966 English B.A. graduate of Virginia State University, Marilyn received her JD from UCLA Law School in 1973.

Ainsworth was briefly an aerospace engineer with IBM and Westinghouse. She and her husband, Walter Ainsworth, were able to pay her law school tuition with her winnings from the Hollywood Squares Show. She later earned additional winnings from the television game shows Concentration and Match Game.

Marilyn was a law professor at several colleges and served as dean of the University of Tennessee College of Law. She was the first African American woman to become dean at a major southern law school and one of the first African American female law professors in the United States.

Prior to her death in 2004, Ainsworth was a law professor at the University of North Carolina. For more see Who's Who In American Law; Who's Who of American Women; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2006; L. Stewart, "Yarbrough, 58, law professor," The Daily Tar Heel, 3/15/2004; "Yarbrough, Marilyn Virginia, 1945-2004" in the Tennessee Libraries Volopedia; and Daye, Charles E., Marilyn V. Yarbrough - She Was a Great Women, North Carolina Law Review, Vol. 83, no. 2, 1/1/2005.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Warren County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Bowling Green, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Ainsworth, Marilyn V. Yarbrough,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 20, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-09-01 17:48:51