In Memoriam

Johnnie Hines Watts Prothro (1922-2009)

A long-time professor of nutrition at Tuskegee and other universities, Johnnie Hines Watts Prothro died of cancer earlier this month at her home in Decatur, Georgia. She was 87 years old.

Dr. Prothro was a native of Atlanta. At the age of 15, she graduated from her racially segregated high school and enrolled at Spelman College. She went on to earn a master’s degree in chemistry from Columbia University in 1946. In 1952 Dr. Prothro was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Her dissertation was entitled, “The Relation of the Rates of Inactivation of Peroxidase, Catecholase, and Ascorbase to the Oxidation of Ascorbic Acid in Vegetables.”

After completing her doctoral work she joined the faculty at Tuskegee Institute. During her long academic career, she also taught at Southern University, the University of Connecticut, Emory University, and Georgia State University. She retired from teaching in 1989.

President Carter appointed Dr. Prothro to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development. She was the first woman and first black to serve on this panel.