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Devore Papers come to Emory University

Ophelia DeVore-Mitchll
Ophelia DeVore-Mitchll

Emory’s Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) has acquired the papers of Ophelia DeVore-Mitchell, a model, businesswoman, and pioneer in the “black is beautiful” movement. A former model, the longtime business executive and entrepreneur co-founded one of the first modeling agencies for black models, taking on mainstream publications, advertisers, and other agencies who avoided hiring African American models. Her efforts helped establish the early careers of actresses Diahann Carroll and Cicely Tyson, among other celebrities. DeVore also launched a cosmetics company catering to African American women, opened and ran a successful charm school in Manhattan for several decades, and was owner and publisher of the Columbus Times until her retirement five years ago. Her collection, which is open to researchers and the public, includes correspondence, professional papers, business records, photographs, scrapbooks, and audiovisual materials. DeVore passed away on Feb. 28, 2014, at the age of 91.

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