On June 4, 1987, she became the first African-American woman to be admitted into the astronaut training program. After more than a year of training, she became the first African-American female astronaut.
Mae Jemison was born on October 17, 1956, in Decatur, Alabama. She was the youngest out of three children. Her parents were Charlie and Dorothy Jemison. At the age of three her and her family moved to Chicago, Illinois, to take advantage of better educational opportunities. During her time at Morgan Park High School, she became convinced she wanted to pursue a career in biomedical engineering. In 1973 Mae Jemison graduated as a consistent honor student. She then went to Stanford University on a National Achievement. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the university in 1977. After graduation, she entered Cornell University Medical College. Before Mae Jemison went to work for NASA she interned at Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Medical Center, worked as a general practitioner, and worked with the Peace Corps as a medical officer.