Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first African American to study and work as a professionally trained nurse in the United States. In 1908, she co-founded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses with Adah B. Thoms. The NACGN merged with the American Nurses Association (ANA) in 195, and the Mary Mahoney Award was created in commemoration of her. The award is given to those by the ANA for significant contributions in advancing equal opportunities in nursing for members of minority groups. She died January 4, 1926 at the age of age 80.