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

Fitzbutler, Sarah Helen McCurdy

(born: 1848  -  died: 1923) 

Sarah H. M. Fitzbutler graduated from the Louisville National Medical College in 1892. She was the first woman of color to earn a medical degree in Kentucky; she went on to practice medicine in Louisville with her husband, Dr. Henry Fitzbutler. Sarah was born in Pennsylvania, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, and after marrying Henry, the Fitzbutler family lived in Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada, before moving to the U.S. She continued to practice medicine in Louisville, KY after her husband's death in 1901. Sarah died in Chicago in 1923, according to her death certificate. She was the mother of Dr. Mary Fitzbutler Waring and several other children. For more see "Henry Fitzbutler: Detroit's First Black Medical Student," by L. L. Hanawalt, Detroit in Perspective: a Journal of Regional History (Winter 1973), pp. 126-140; and In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., edited by M. M. Spradling.

See also the Sarah Helen McCurdy Fitzburtler biography by Morris M. Weiss, MD in the publication "History of Louisville National Medical College and the Red Cross Hospital: African American Medicine in Louisville, Kentucky - 1872 to 1976, Part 2" Louisville Medicine, February 2013, pp.19-21. This reference and a copy of the title were provided by Allan Weiss.

Kentucky County & Region

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Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Fitzbutler, Sarah Helen McCurdy,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 24, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-10-02 18:54:19