Jane Matilda Bolin (Jane Matilda Bolin)

Jane Matilda Bolin

Jurist. She was the first black woman to become a judge in the United States. Judge Bolin was the first black woman to graduate from Yale Law School, the first to join the New York City Bar Association, and the first to work in the office of the New York City corporation counsel, the city’s legal department. Her father, Gaius C. Bolin, was the son of an American Indian woman and an African-American man. Her mother, the former Matilda Emery, was a white Englishwoman. She attended Wellesley College, where she was one of two black freshmen. At her graduation in 1928, she was named a Wellesley Scholar, a distinction given to the top 20 students of the class. At Yale Law School, Ms. Bolin was one of three women in her class and the only black person. In 1937 she was hired by the NYC Corporation Counsel. In 1939 she was appointed a Family Court Judge by Mayor LaGuardia for a 10 year term. She was reappointed to 10 year terms by Mayors O’Dwyer, Wagner and Lindsay. She served until 1978 when she reached the mandatory retirement age of 70. After her retirement, she was a volunteer reading instructor in New York City public schools for two years, and was appointed to the Regents Review Committee of the New York State Board of Regents. Judge Bolin is survived by her son, Yorke Mizelle.   (bio by: Eamonn)  Family links:  Parents:  Gaius Charles Bolin (1864 – 1946)


  • April, 11, 1908
  • USA


  • January, 01, 2007
  • USA


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