Esther McCready (born 1931) is a retired nurse and teacher who desegregated the University of Maryland School of Nursing in 1950. The case was filed in 1949 in Baltimore City Court by National Association for the Advancement of Colored People lawyers Charles Hamilton Houston and Donald Gaines Murray  (McCready v. Byrd, 1949). After the court sided with the university, the case went to the Maryland Court of Appeals where it was argued by Houston, Murray, and Thurgood Marshall The lower court’s ruling was overturned by the Maryland Court of Appeals and McCready began classes on September 5, 1950. She is in the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame.
- A Maryland Pioneer: at 78 Esther McCready Serves As A Volunteer At the University Where She Broke Down Racial Barriers 60 Years Ago. Jacques Kelly. The Baltimore Sun, April 20, 2009.
- Suit Filed Against U. of Md., 6 Pending: Racial Policy Forced Action Other Suits to Be Filed This Week. The Baltimore Afro-American, Aug 6, 1949, pg. C7.
- Equality’s struggles: Baltimoreans reflect on Civil Rights era and their struggles for equality. Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun, June 28, 2014.
- Negro Nurse Studying At University: Supreme Court Refusal To Act Reveals Girl Is In Hospital Class. The Sun, Oct 10, 1950, pg. 34.