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Co-Founder of National Optometric Association Dies at 93

He was ‘a true leader, full of passion and conviction.’




Dr. C. Clayton Powell, co-founder of the National Optometric Association, has died.

Clayton Powell

C. Clayton Powell

He was 93.

Powell passed away Friday in Atlanta.

“Dr. Powell co-created The National Optometric Association, in order to open doors for African American students,” NOA wrote in a Facebook post. “The organization has been pivotal in creating opportunities for students of various backgrounds; supporting in the way of scholarships, grants, and matriculation programs. For over fifty years, the communities most often overlooked, have been serviced with events promoting minority ocular health.

“Dr. C. Clayton Powell was a true leader, full of passion and conviction. His dedication to the profession was unparalleled and he will be deeply missed.”


Fox 5 Atlanta reports that Powell graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry, where he was the only Black student in his class.

At school at the Illinois College of Optometry, he was the only Black student in the class. He then practiced optometry in Atlanta.

He helped launch the NOA in 1969.


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