Mary Thelma Washington became the first African American Female CPA in the nation, a graduate of Northwestern University she sat for her CPA in Chicago, Illinois. In doing so, she became a visionary, trailblazer and mentor, inspiring other young African-American CPAs and paving the way for generations to come. Her Accounting firm is one of the largest black owned firm in Chicago. Washington, Pittman & McKeever LLC,. You won't find much history of her evolution or the evolution of the firm on her site, however you can pick up the 2002 published book "A White-Collar Profession: African American Certified Public Accountants Since 1921, Theresa A Hammond whom at the time was Boston College Accounting Chairwoman.
Mary T. Washington was born in Vicksburg, Miss as Mary thelma Morrison, her mother died when she was 6 and she moved to Chicago to live with her grandmother. It was said that her father often bragged to others that she could read the entire newspaper. She was always a high achiever especially in math. Her boos after high school at Bina State Bank Arthur J. Wilson (who became the 2nd Black CPA) encouraged her to pursue a career in business. She earned her degree from Northwestern University in 1941.
She started her first accounting firm in her basement while she was still pursuing her degree.
The city of Chicago has made September 30th Mary T. Washington Wylie Day .
There was an article posted in 2005 by the Journal of Accountancy entitled a History of determination, it discusses the adversity men and women of color faced in the profession, how that struggle continues today and her obituary.
Mary Thelma Washington is my personal hero, because of her I can!
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