Washington, D.C.—Distinguished scholar, author, statesman, and former president of the District of Columbia Teachers College Paul Phillips Cooke, Ed.D. ’37 died on July 4, 2010, in Washington, DC. Acclaimed both nationally and internationally as an esteemed educator and leader, Dr. Cooke’s light shone brightly for decades as he led by example and always demanded excellence and more from himself, students and colleagues.
Born in NYC on June 29, 1917, Cooke attended DC public schools and matriculated at the renowned Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School, noted for its acumen in preparing that era’s Black American youth for higher education and higher paths to workplace success. He received a diploma at Dunbar in 1933 and a Bachelor of Science degree (cum laude) in English in 1937 from Miner Teachers College. He went on to receive a Master of Arts degree in Education in 1941 from New York University, a Master of Arts degree in English Literature in 1943 from the Catholic University of America, and a Doctorate in Education in 1947 from Columbia University. A Professor of English at DC Teachers College from 1944 to 1974, Cooke was named the college’s president in 1966 and served in that capacity until 1974.
Cooke authored more than 200 publications and papers and won the admiration and respect of his associates in numerous arenas. Over the years, he remained active in many professional, social, international, community and civic organizations, including the following: Catholic Interracial Council of Washington, DC; American Veterans Committee; World Veterans Federation; and the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History.
Cooke was married to the late Rose Cooke, also a ’37 Miner Teachers College graduate, for 63 years.
A memorial service will be held for Dr. Paul Phillips Cooke on Saturday, July 17, 2010, at the Dumbarton Chapel, Houston Hall, Howard University West Campus, 2900 Van Ness Street, N.W., from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church, 16th Street and Park Rd., N.W. on Sunday, July 18th.