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Dr. Mary Lane Cobb

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Dr. Mary Lane Cobb


Dr. Mary Lane Cobb has been a pioneer in the area of medicine and family planning. She knew while still a student at Central High in Louisville, Kentucky that she wanted to pursue medicine as a career. She attended Indiana University and then went on to Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania where she was the only African-American in her medical school class.

After graduation from medical school, Dr. Cobb moved to Westchester where she completed her internship and residency at Grasslands Hospital in Valhalla (now the Westchester Medical Center) c 1954-57. She then moved into private practice in Tarrytown as a general practioner and became particularly interested in women's health and family planning.

Seeing the need and desire for contraceptive services Dr. Lane went to be trained at the Margaret Sanger Research Bureau (later part of Planned Parenthood Federation of America). Dr. Lane Cobb went on to work for the Margaret Sanger Research Bureau, becoming Clinical Director of Contraceptive Services.

During this time she was invited to present before the U.S. Senate (Select Subcommittee on Small Business) to talk about on the effectiveness and safety of the pill.

Dr. Lane Cobb continued her remarkable career by becoming the first African-American woman named Director of a Department of the Westchester County Government when she was named Director of Women and Youth Health Services in 1977.

Although technically retired since 1992, Dr. Lane Cobb continues to tirelessly serve the community, including working as co-chair of the Westchester Women's Health Partnership.

Items in the Dr. Mary Lane Cobb Collection

Testimony of Dr. Lane Cobb, Clinical Director of Contraception Service, Margaret Sanger Research Bureau, to the U.S. Senate Small Business Committee, Monopoly Subcommittee on the safety and effectiveness of the pill February 25, 1970.

Mary Lane. Graduation from Indiana University, 1950. "Mary wearing a Mortarboard pin - honored by that [National College Senior Honor Society] society."

Mary and James Cobb on their wedding day, June 21, 1959.

Mary Lane. Senior year photo from Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, 1954.

Letter from Dr. Mary Lane Cobb to her classmates on their 50th reunion from Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, May 2004.

Collection Tree

  • Dr. Mary Lane Cobb