American Heart Association News – Cobb, class of 1925, “was a doctor, an anthropologist, a teacher, an author, an editor, a crusader for civil rights, and so much more,” writes Michael Precker. “Cobb’s achievements, and his battle for acceptance, helped pave the way for Black scholars and medical professionals who followed him.”

His achievements, as listed in the article, include a medical degree from, and teaching career at, Howard University; the first doctorate in physical anthropology ever awarded to an African American; presidencies of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, National Medical Association and NAACP; and authorship of five books and more than 1,000 articles. 

“Cobb spent a lifetime,” Precker adds, “exposing unequal levels of health care for white and Black people, and campaigning to integrate medical facilities and provide equal opportunities for Black doctors and patients.” 

Cobb received an honorary doctorate from Amherst in 1955 and is the namesake of a scholarship fund at the College. There is also a health institute named for him at Howard. He passed away in 1990.