Members Only Area
Bookmark and Share
sidebar menu icon

PEMBERTON, CHARLES WHITTAKER

PEMBERTON, CHARLES WHITTAKER (1892–1976). Charles Whittaker Pemberton, black Houston physician, was born to H. B. and Norella (Hawley) Pemberton in Marshall, Texas, in 1892. He attended Central High School and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Wiley College at Marshall. He received his M.D. degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. After completing an internship at St. Louis City Hospital in 1924, Pemberton moved to Houston, Texas, where he practiced medicine for forty-five years.

He was the first black member of the Houston Independent School District's Health Department; during his thirty-seven-year tenure he became assistant director. He also was a director of medical service for the International Longshoremen's Association, vice president of the National Medical Association (an association for black physicians dating from 1895), member of the governing council of the American School Health Association, and delegate to two World Health assemblies. In addition to his professional activities he served as honorary consul for the Republic of Liberia. In 1966 Pemberton attended the celebration of the 119th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Liberia. While he was there he was enrolled as a Knight Commander of the Humane Order of African Redemption by William V. S. Tubman, the president of Liberia. This honor is generally reserved for persons who have given distinguished service to the republic.

Pemberton was a United States Army veteran of World War I and a member of the Harris County Medical Society and the Houston Medical Forum. He founded the Houston chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi and cofounded the Sigma Pi Phi social fraternity. He married Doris Hollis on February 11, 1945. They had four children. Pemberton died on September 11, 1976, and was buried in Paradise Cemetery North in Houston.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Houston Forward Times, September 18, 1976. Texas Medicine, March 1977.

John S. Gray III

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, John S. Gray III, "Pemberton, Charles Whittaker," accessed May 24, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpe75.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on July 30, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.