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June 5, 1952
Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

June 5, 1952

On June 5, 1952, the Los Angeles Sentinel ran a full-page spread on the Fultz Quads (Mary Louise, Mary Ann, Mary Alice, and Mary Catherine), who were celebrating their sixth birthday. “Like 6-year-olds everywhere, the world-famous Fultz quads think birthdays are next-best to Christmas, celebrated with cake, presents, new clothes,” the paper reported. “The quads, who still live in the nursery built for them by Pet Milk Company, look more alike than ever” (click to view full page PDF).  

The quadruplets were born in 1946 at the segregated wing of Annie Penn Hospital in Reidsville, North Carolina, and their parents Pete and Anne Mae Fultz were sharecroppers. The Fultz Quads received a lot of media attention, and they had an endorsement contract with the Pet Milk Company, which saw the girls as a way to market baby formula to African Americans. Fred Klenner, the doctor who delivered the girls and negotiated the Pet Milk contract, financially exploited the Fultz Quads. The young women continued to make publicity appearances into their teens, including meeting President Harry Truman and President John F. Kennedy.

To learn more, see “The Fultz Sisters: The Fascinating and Tragic Story of America’s First Identical Black Quadruplets.”