Dorothy Mclendon

Dorothy McClendon, born in Minden, LA, was a microbiologist who researched microorganisms that degraded military tank insulation. Born in Louisiana, Ms. McClendon moved to Detroit with her mother at a very young age. She attended Cass Technical High school and then obtained her BS (1948) in Biology from Tennessee A & I State University, now Tennessee State University. She taught at various high schools and took microbiology courses at Purdue, Wayne State, and the University of Detroit.

In 1950 she went to work for the Army Tank-Automotive Command aka TACOM and supervised the Micro-Biology Laboratory. She researched ways of preserving non-metallic materials against destructive microbes native to tropical regions. This included microorganisms and fungi. This allowed for military vehicles to be more reliable and preserved while in long term use during deployments. She was named one of the “Top Ten Working Women in Detroit” in 1964. Over the years she would participate heavily in her local church, stand on boards for scholarship programs, and work to increase STEM literacy in African Americans. She passed away in 2013 at the age of 88.