Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search results

O'Hara, Mary, 1952-



  • Existence: 1952 -

Biographical Information

Dr. Mary O'Hara is a long-time educator and activist. She was born in 1952 to James O'Hara and Dolores O'Hara Hayes. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Masters in Community Development, and a PhD from the Department of Sociology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. After earning her PhD, O'Hara worked as a sociology professor at John A. Logan College.

O'Hara was a close friend of Purdue University professor, Helen Bass Williams. They met in 1984 at the Southern Counties Action Movement's (SCAM) annual meeting, after which they developed a strong personal relationship. She remained a close friend of Williams until Williams' death in 1991. O'Hara wrote her PhD dissertation, titled "Let it fly: The legacy of Helen Bass Williams", on Williams' life experiences and her contributions to the civil rights movement in the United States.

In 2007, O'Hara received the "Spirit of Dr. King Community Service Award" for her commitment to effecting social change.


Helen Bass Williams Collection File. Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Mary O'Hara papers on Helen Bass Williams

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSP 311
Overview This collection documents Dr. Mary O'Hara's research into and relationship with Helen Bass Williams and includes research notes, correspondence, oral history recordings, interview transcripts, and published materials.
Dates: 1951 - 2007; Majority of material found within 1985 - 2000