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Black Veterinary History

Zalk Veterinary Medical Library highlights Black veterinarians and veterinary history from their collection and beyond.


Augustus Nathaniel Lushington

August 1, 1869 - 1939


Earning his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1897, Dr. Augustus Nathaniel Lushington is considered to be the first Black veterinarian in the United States.

Dr. Lushington moved to the United States from Trinidad when he was 20 years old. He settled in New York, where he married Elizabeth Gavino Hubert, whose friends helped Dr. Lushington enroll in Cornell University. He graduated with a degree in agriculture in 1894, before enrolling at the University of Pennsylvania to earn his DVM.

After graduating, Dr. Lushington moved his family to Rock Castle, Virginia, to work at the Agricultural College, before he went on to open his own practice in Lynchburg. The intense racism, however, forced him to work extra jobs as a meat inspector and probation officer.

Dr. Lushington perservered, and he would go on to work for the Bureau of Animal Industry and the Federal Department of Agriculture. Dr. Lushington worked until his death in 1939.


Sources: University of Pennsylvania. Diversity in our history. | Michigan Humane, Black History Month in Animal Welfare – Dr. Augustus Nathaniel Lushington. 2021.