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

Ross, Cornelia Wright Hall

(born: July 6, 1910  -  died: June 20, 1981) Cornelia W. H. Ross was the first African American woman to be appointed president of the board of directors of the Louisville YWCA. She had been with the YWCA since 1959 when she started working at the Phillis Wheatly Branch. From 1964-1967, she was chair of the West End YWCA Committee on Administration. In 1968, she was elected to the YWCA Board of Directors and she served as the treasurer, vice president, and was on my committees. 

Cornelia W. H. Ross was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Henry and Emma Banks Hall. She was the wife of John Richard Ross. The couple was married on August 10, 1940, in Williamsburg, VA. Both were living in Williamsburg at the time of their marriage. Cornelia was a graduate of Central High School and Hampton Institute [now Hampton University] where she earned a master's degree in education. She had been a school teacher in Williamsburg, VA, and Eatonville, FL, and was a cashier clerk at the Louisville Defender newspaper. 

Starting in 1957, she was employed full-time at the Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Co. as the supervisor of records and research. Her late father, Henry Hall, was a co-founder of the business, and her nephew, Julius Price, was the company president. 

Sources: Kay, Joan, "Speaking of People: new board president applauds the YWCA's programs" The Courier-Journal, 06/04/1971, p.21; Virginia Certificate of Marriage #32784; see Cornelia W. Hall in the 1935 Eatonville, Florida State Census (Ancestry).

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“Ross, Cornelia Wright Hall,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-02-17 21:00:23