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Mackay, Dora E., 1915-



  • Existence: 1915-


Dora E. Mackay, an African-American singer and beauty shop owner in Des Moines, was born on August 12, 1915 to Ernest and Izora Mackay. As a high-school student in 1931, Mackay became a founding member of the Mary Church Terrell Club, a social and civic club in Des Moines. She remained an active member.

Mackay attended the Crescent School of Beauty and Culture in Des Moines and was a member of its first graduating class in 1940. Later that year, Mackay assumed ownership of Berline's Beauty Shop, one of a small number of black beauty shops in Des Moines. She retired in 1978.

Although she built a career in cosmetology, Mackay pursued singing as a side interest. During the 1940s, she sang and played the piano for local radio stations. She performed as a singer at the club Johnny and Kay's for ten years during the 1970s.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Dora E. Mackay papers

 Collection — Folder 1: Series 1
Identifier: IWA0248

African American singer and beauty shop owner in Des Moines, Iowa.


One folder, shelved in SCVF; one audiocassette [AC1109] shelved in audiocassette collection.

Dates: 1932-2006