On July 22, 1939, Jane Bolin was assigned to the Domestic Relations Court (later, Family Court) in New York. This appointment made her the first black woman to become a judge in the United States.
Born in Poughkeepsie, New York on April 11, 1908, Jane Bolin accomplished many other firsts as a black woman in America. She was the first to graduate from Yale Law School, to join the New York City Bar Association, and the first black female to work in New York City’s legal department.
She reluctantly retired in January of 1979 after serving as a judge for 40 years. Bolin died at the age of 98 in Queens, New York in 2007.