DeNorval Unthank


DeNorval Unthank was one of the founders and early president of the Urban League of Portland. During his time in Portland Denorval Unthank would serve the black community as both physician and civil rights leader. Dr. Unthank moved to Portland in 1929 after graduating from Howard University to treat black employees at the Union Pacific Railway. In a few years he would be the only African-American physician in Portland. Early in his career Dr. Unthank was forced to relocate both his practice and home after opposition from white residents. While Dr. Unthank would later lead the fight against such injustice as cofounder of the Urban League and head of the NAACP. He also served as the first African American member of the City Club of Portland and a member of the Pacific Northwest Council of the YMCA. As a medical practitioner he continued to treat patients, both black and white, until his retirement in 1970. Visit the Oregon Multicultural Archives for more:

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