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

Payne, Clarence H., Sr.

(born: 1892  -  died: 1965) Dr. Clarence H. Payne, one of two African Americans appointed to the Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium in 1937, served on the medical staff there for more than 20 years. He had practiced medicine in Chicago for about 15 years preceding, specializing in chest diseases.

Prior to his appointment at the sanitarium, Dr. Payne had served in the U.S. Army and was among the first African Americans to attend the Negro Officer's Training School in Des Moines, IA. He was commissioned a First Lieutenant and served with the 365th Infantry during World War I. When World War II began, Dr. Payne and Dr. Roscoe Conklin were summoned to the White House by President Franklin D. Roosevelt for a conference on integrating the U.S. Armed Forces.

Dr. Payne was twice elected Illinois Surgeon General of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the first African American elected to that post.

Dr. Clarence H. Payne was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the son of Nora L. and Aaron H. Payne II. He attended school in Louisville and was a 1911 graduate of Fisk University and a 1921 graduate of Rush Medical College of the University of Chicago [now part of Rush University].

For more see "Clarence H. Payne" on p. 7 of the Chicago Negro Almanac and Reference Book, edited by E. R. Rather; and his picture and a brief reference to his career on his birth anniversary in Jet, 1/22/1976, p. 10.

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NKAA Source: Chicago Negro almanac and reference book

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“Payne, Clarence H., Sr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-06-14 17:13:08