Marie Maynard Daly


Marie Maynard Daly (1921–2003; Graduate School of Arts and Sciences 1947) was born on April 16, 1921, in Queens, New York. Daly received her B.S. and M.S. in chemistry at Queens College and New York University, respectively.

After completing a Ph.D. at Columbia—and becoming the first African American woman to obtain a Ph.D. in chemistry—Daly taught and conducted research. At Columbia, her research focused on how the body's chemicals help digest food. Fascinated by the human body's complicated inner workings, Daly is best known for research geared toward practical applications for health and nutrition, she investigated the effects of cholesterol, sugars, and other nutrients on the heart. Her research disclosed the relationship between high cholesterol and clogged arteries and increased our understanding of how foods and diet affect the health of the heart and the circulatory system.

Daly also taught biochemistry at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. In 1988, she started a scholarship, in honor of her father, for minority students who want to study science at Queens College.

Read more about Marie Maynard Daly and her extraordinary life and career.