Dean, Chesta Dillard

Chesta Dillard Dean (1885- )

Chesta Dillard Dean (1885- ), born in Danville, Virginia, was afforded a solid educational foundation starting early in her life. After completing her early studies, she received training at St. Paul’s School (Lawrenceville, VA), Brown University (Providence, RI), and finally graduated in 1911 from Temple University with a degree in Pharmacy. Upon graduating, Chesta Dillard Dean became a pharmacist in Philadelphia and purchased a drug store. This was a tremendous accomplishment for Dean who, in addition to being one of only three practicing Black pharmacists in Philadelphia at the time, was also the only Black female pharmacist to own the store from which she operated.

by Aslaku Berhanu


White, Charles Frederick. Who's who in Philadelphia: a collection of thirty biographical sketches of Philadelphia colored people… Philadelphia: The A.M.E. Book Concern, 1912.


The historical notes on

The historical notes on Chesta Dillard Dean indicates that she was the first black female pharmacists to own a drug store in Philadelphia in 1911. Please look at this reference which indicates that Julia P. Hughes was the first in 1900:  "A Negress in Pharmacy." Bulletin of Pharmacy 1900, 13(12): 484.