August 13, 1933
Joycelyn Elders was born Minnie Lee Jones in Schaal (Howard County). Elders was director of the Arkansas Department of Health and the U.S. surgeon general in the administration of President Bill Clinton. Her controversial opinions led to her resignation after just over a year as surgeon general. Elders later served as a faculty researcher at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. In 1996, she published her autobiography, Joycelyn Elders, MD: From Sharecropper’s Daughter to Surgeon General of the United States. She continues to promote sex education, viewing abstinence and “Just Say No” programs as unrealistic. After retiring from medicine in 1999, Elders returned to Little Rock (Pulaski County), where she speaks on issues such as AIDS, adolescent sexuality, and national healthcare.