Ambitious to become a lawyer, she personally accosted President Tubman and prevailed on him to finance her education in the USA, were she graduated first from Shaw State University and then in law and political science from the University of Wisconsin and later studied at the University of London.
She was accredited by the Liberian Supreme Court in 1953, as the first woman Liberian lawyer. She had a career in government administration and legal education in Liberia before being appointed assistant secretary of state in 1958. In 1969 she became the first African woman to be elected president of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
In addition to two biological children she also has a number of foster or adopted children.
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