The accomplished life of Armwood High School's namesake

Hillsborough's Armwood High School is known for its successful football team, but the school's namesake is a highly regarded local educator.

Blanche Armwood's impressive achievements are still impacting lives today.

Blanche was born in Tampa on Jan. 23, 1890, and was the first African-American woman from Florida to graduate from an accredited law school, Howard University.

"Blanche Armwood is probably one of the most significance editors in twentieth-century Tampa and Hillsborough County history," Rodney Kite Powell of the Tampa History Museum said.

At 12, she graduated from St. Peters Claver Catholic School with a high school diploma.

"She was offered a teaching position right then and there at twelve," Powell said. "But instead she went to Spellman College and graduated at 16 and came back to Tampa and began her teaching career."

She was the first black superintendent for the black school system in the 1920s and helped start the Urban League. She also got a law degree.

Blanche died at age 49.

There is a bust of Blanche on the riverwalk at Curtis Hixon Park in Downtown Tampa.

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