Bertha Pitts Campbell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Bertha Pitts Campbell
BornJune 30, 1889
DiedApril 2, 1990
Alma materHoward University
Known forCo-founder of Delta Sigma Theta

Bertha Pitts Campbell (June 30, 1889 – April 2, 1990) was a civil rights activist and one of the 22 founding members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.[1][2][3]

Early life[edit]

Campbell was born on June 30, 1889 in Winfield, Kansas.


Campbell was the only black student enrolled in Montrose High School (Montrose, Colorado) when she delivered the valedictorian address to the class of 1908.[4] Upon graduation Campbell was offered a four-year scholarship to Colorado College. Campbell declined the scholarship and chose instead to enroll in Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1908 where she received financial support from the Congregational Church. In 1913 she co-founded Delta Sigma Theta and took part in a women's suffrage march in Washington, D.C. In June of that year she graduated cum laude from Howard University with a bachelor of arts degree in education.

Activism and Later Years[edit]

In Seattle, Campbell was a committed activist and organizer. She was a charter member of the Christian Friends for Racial Equality, an organization which worked to expand housing and other opportunities for the black community; she worked with the Seattle Urban League; and was the first black member of the board of directors of the YWCA of Seattle-King County. She was an active member of the YWCA for 53 years.

At age 92, Campbell led 10,000 members of her Delta Sigma Theta sorority in a march down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the participation of the organization in the suffrage march of 1913.Having long survived her husband and son, she spent her final years in a Seattle nursing home and died peacefully at age 100.[5]


  1. ^ "Bertha Pitts Campbell".
  2. ^ "Our 22 Founders". Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.: Eta Gamma Chapter.
  3. ^ Gough, William (April 6, 1990). "Bertha Pitts Campbell, A Founder Of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority". Seattle Times.
  4. ^ "Bertha Pitts Campbell". Montrose Education Foundation, Inc.
  5. ^ "Obituaries | Bertha Pitts Campbell, A Founder Of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority | Seattle Times Newspaper". Retrieved 2017-11-20.


  • Delta Memories: A Historical Summary by Robert Ewell Greene.
  • Delta Sigma Theta: Its History and Development by Edna B. Johnson Morris, Grand Historian Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
  • In Search of Sisterhood: Delta Sigma Theta and the Challenge of the Black Sorority Movement by Paula Giddings.
  • Shaped to Its Purpose: Delta Sigma Theta - The First Fifty Years by Mary Elizabeth Vroman.
  • Hill, Pauline Anderson Simmons (1998). Too Young To Be Old: Bertha Pitts Campbell. AuthorHouse. ISBN 1434392554.
  • Romero, Victoria Wheeler Raider (2013). Bertha Pitts Campbell: The Founder We Knew. Lulu Publishing Services. ISBN 1483401022.

External links[edit]