October 8, 1914 – November 29, 2003
John Kenney, Jr. was the oldest of four children born in Tuskegee, Alabama, to parents who were influential figures in African American medicine. Kenney graduated from Bates College, then received his medical degree from Howard University in 1945.
Dr. Kenney served as president of the National Medical Association. He was the first black member of the American Academy of Dermatology which also named him a Master of Dermatology. He was given the organization’s Gold Medal in 2001.
It was estimated that in the year of his death, there were about three hundred black dermatologists practicing in the United States. Dr. Kenney had mentored or trained about one-third of them. He died in 2003 of heart failure at the age of eighty-nine.