Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to graduate from medical school in the United States. Born in Bristol, England in 1821 to Hannah Lane and Samuel Blackwell, Elizabeth was almost a teenager when her father brought the family to New York. Then they moved to Cincinnati. But a few weeks after the move, Elizabeth’s father died, leaving the family virtually penniless.
To support them, Elizabeth’s mother started a school, and Elizabeth and her sisters became teachers to help with the family finances. Time passed and it was said that one of Elizabeth’s closest friends fell very ill. The friend told Elizabeth she believed her suffering would have been less if she could have been treated by a female doctor. So the friend urged Elizabeth to study medicine. She believed that Elizabeth had the personality, the selfless love and the intelligence to be a great doctor.