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In 1948, DeVore opened the Ophelia DeVore Charm School. The establishment, which closed in 2006, taught etiquette, fashion, ballet, and speech along with a variety of other disciplines. Singer Faith Evans is a graduate of the charm school along with notable Black professionals in and around the New York area.

In 1955, Devore appeared on the weekly ABC television show, “Spotlight On Harlem” It was New York City’s first television program created by and for African-American audiences. DeVore made history once more in 1959 and 1960 when two of her modeling clients, Cecelia Cooper and LaJeune Hundley, were the first Americans of any race to win titles at the Cannes Film Festival.

In 1941, Devore married and eventually had five children with her first husband, Harold Carter. After their divorce, She married Columbus Times publisher Vernon Mitchell in 1968. When her second husband died in 1972, DeVore continued running the paper alongside one of her daughters.

DeVore passed at the age of 92 after complications from a stroke. She is remembered as a proud champion of diversity for non-whites in the modeling and entertainment fields and an early advocate of the “Black Is Beautiful” movement.

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Little Known Black History Fact: Ophelia DeVore  was originally published on

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