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Ann Cooper Biography

Ann Louise Nixon Cooper was born on January 9, 1902 in Shelbyville, Tennessee, where she attended school. After the death of their mother, she and her six siblings were separated and an aunt raised Cooper. In 1922, Ann Nixon married Albert Berry Cooper, a young dentist in Nashville, Tennessee. They moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where they started a family while her husband established his highly successful dental practice. Cooper has been a homemaker for most of her life, working briefly in 1923 as a policy writer for the Atlanta Life Insurance Company. Cooper and her husband counted as their friends or acquaintances such luminaries as educators W.E.B. Du Bois, Lugenia Burns Hope and John Hope Franklin, Benjamin E. Mays and E. Franklin Frazier.

As an active Atlantan, Cooper has worked to improve conditions in the African American community for much of her adult life. For more than fifty years, she served on the board of directors of the Gate City Nursery Association. She was a founder of a Girls Club for African American youth in Atlanta and, in the 1970s, taught community residents to read in a tutoring program at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.

In 1980, Cooper received a community service award for her activism from Atlanta's WXIA-TV. In 2002, she was awarded the Annie L. McPheeters Medallion for community service from the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.

As a centenarian, Cooper is the oldest member of the Atlanta Chapter of the Links, Inc. and has been a member of the Utopian Literary Club since 1948.

Cooper was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 24, 2004.

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