National Institute on Aging

In Memoriam: Esther Arvilla Harrison Hopkins, 1926-2021

Esther A. H. Hopkins, a biophysicist, chemist, educator, and environmental attorney died on May 19 on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. She was 94 years old.

A native of Stamford, Connecticut, Hopkins’ parents were both chauffers. She entered kindergarten at age 3. After graduating from Stamford High School in 1943, she enrolled at Boston University, earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry there in 1947. She applied to the medical school at Boston University but was rejected for admission. At the time the medical school had a quote of only two Black students per entering class.

Hopkins went on to earn a master’s degree in chemistry at Howard University in Washington, D.C. She then taught at what is now Virginia State University from 1949 to 1952 before taking a position as an assistant researcher of biophysics at the New England Insitute for Medical Research. She then took a job as a chemist at American Cyanamid in Stamford. While there she earned a second master’s degree and a Ph.D. in chemistry at Yale University.

Dr. Hopkins then took a job at Polaroid Corporation. While there she earned a juris doctorate at Suffolk University in Boston. After earning her law degree, Dr. Hopkins was named deputy general counsel for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection


Leave a Reply

Due to incidents of abuse and harassment that have occurred in the past, JBHE will not publish telephone numbers or email addresses of individuals in this space. If you want to contact someone in a particular article, we suggest you contact them directly not in an open forum.