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

Rhodes, Bessie M.

(born: 1938  -  died: 2002) 

Born in Hodgenville, KY, Bessie M. Rhodes was an assistant professor at Northwestern University and later a school teacher and principal in Chicago, IL. She then worked for Xerox and was transferred to California where she was the company's first African American female regional controller in charge of the district's finances.

Rhodes would return to Illinois to become a school principal and manage the first Home Day Care program in Evanston. She was also a consultant to other schools in the U.S. and Mexico. The Dr. Bessie Rhodes School of Global Studies in Skokie, IL is named in her honor.

Rhodes was a graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], where she earned a bachelor's degree in music; she also earned a master's in music education at Iowa State University. Her doctorate in educational administration came from Northwestern University.

For more see B. W. Rotzoll, "Bessie Rhodes, 64, professor and principal," Chicago Sun-Times, 4/21/2002, News section, p. 57; S. Chen and M. Lopas, "Bessie M. Rhodes, 64, principal, local teacher," The Daily Northwestern, 4/22/2002, Campus section; and "Bessie M. Rhodes: A Legend in Her Own Time" at the Shorefront Journal website.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Larue County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Hodgenville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

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Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Chicago sun-times (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Daily northwestern (newspaper)

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“Rhodes, Bessie M.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 21, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-05-07 16:37:08