Josephine Love
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Josephine Love

Museum Director

Widow of William Thomas Love, Asst. Wayne County Medical Examiner



Josephine Love

Dr. William Thomas Love was born on October 20, 1901 in Wainesville, North Carolina to James and Ida Love. His parents, being committed to his education, supported his attendance at Knoxville College in Tennessee and Boston College in Massachusetts, where he graduated in 1922 and 1924, respectively.

He earned a master's degree in psychology from the University of Michigan in 1926, entered the medical school there, and graduated in 1930. Following an internship and residency at People's Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, he moved to Detroit to open a private practice in 1932. Dr. Love's hospital practice included serving at several black-owned and-operated facilities, such as Kirwood General, Burton Mercy, and Edyth K. Thomas Memorial Hospitals, as well as on the staffs of Woman's (Hutzel) and Grace Hospitals.

He was also an Assistant Wayne County Medical Examiner, a position he began in 1934. Dr. Love's commitment to accurate testimony led him to take classes at the Detroit College of Law, although he never earned a law degree.

In the late 1940's, he helped found The Seminar Society, a group of scholars dedicated to increasing knowledge by researching and writing in fields other than those of their expertise.

Through the years, Dr. Love became interested in infant mortality, especially the phenomenon of crib death, otherwise known as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Dr. Love was a member of the National Medical Association, Wayne County Medical Society, the Detroit Medical Society, Michigan State Medical Society, Omega Psi Phi fraternity, and Sigma Pi Phi Boule, a national honor society.

He died in July, 1966, shortly before he and his wife, Josephine Harreld Love, planned a move to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she had obtained a scholar-in-residence position at Radcliffe College.

Josephine Harreld Love was born December 11, 1914 in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from Spelman College in 1933 and completed a post-graduate year at The Julliard School of Music in 1934. In 1936, she received a master's degree in musicology from Radcliffe College and subsequently attended the Mozart Academy in Austria.

She met Dr. Love in Detroit in 1940 and they married in Atlanta in July of 1941. Mrs. Love was a scholar-in-residence at Radcliffe College from 1966-1969, with the last year of her studies having to be carried out in Paris, France.

Early in her career, she taught piano and introduced African American youngsters to the arts through personally sponsored field trips to museums, plays, concerts, and other cultural events. Upon her return to Detroit, she co-founded the Heritage House and Fine Arts Center for Young People in 1969, where she continues as director.

Tape recorded interview;
Detroit, MI
23 April  1998
audio clip

Mrs. Love discusses the relationship African American physicians had with the community

I: Do you recall whether the African American community in general had particular kinds of health beliefs or attitudes that might have in some ways affected how they related to the medical community?

R: Well, I think the doctor was a revered figure with our people. They were like ministers, you know. There was a certain kind of symbolism that went along with that so that they played a very special role in people's lives, because they really treated the whole person. They were concerned…for example, I very often run into people who are no longer young, who were my husband's patients when they were children. One of the things that he liked to do was to deliver children and then to take care of them after he delivered them. He liked the sequence of treatment. And I have people who are grown adults now who tell me how they did not fear going to see him because of his kindliness and his interest-the interest that he took in them not only as patients, but as persons, and the interest he took in where they were going to school, and where they would be going to college, and the encouragement that he gave them.


William G. Anderson
Reginald P. Ayala
Arthur W Boddie
Wilma Brakefield-Caldwell
Henry C. Bryant Jr.
Alice Burton
Waldo L. Cain
James W. Collins
Claude and Vivienne Cooper
Gladys B. Dillard
George Gaines Jr.
Leon Gant
Herman J. Glass Sr.
Della Goodwin
Joseph B. Harris
Frank P. Iacobell
Horace L. Jefferson
Sidney B. Jenkins
Arthur Johnson
Rachel B. Keith
William E. Lawson
Josephine Love
Hayward Maben Jr.
Berna C. Mason
Suesetta T. McCree
Dorothy Mottley
David C. Northcross Jr.
Ophelia B. Northcross
Marjorie Peebles-Meyers
Frank P. Raiford III
Garther Roberson Jr.
S. L. Roberson
Elsie Smith
Fannie L. Starks
Lionel F. Swan
Natalia M. Tanner
Oretta Mae Todd
I. Clara Webb
Charles F. Whitten
Charles H. Wright
Watson Young


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Copyright , Kellogg African American Health Care Project, 2000.
Text and images may not be used without the permission of the Kellogg African American Health Care Project.