Place of Birth
Date of Birth
1913 – 2007
Politics, Government & Military Service
Oklahoma native Oleta Crain was valedictorian of her high school class and joined the Army during World War II. As an African-American female, she was forced to overcome prejudice and worked toward desegregation of the armed forces. During her 20-year military career, Crain served in the United States, Germany, and England before retiring as a major and embarking on her second government career with the U.S. Department of Labor. She rose to the position of regional administrator of the Women’s Bureau for Colorado, Montana, North and South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming before retiring a second time. As the bureau’s chief advocate, she focused on three areas: balancing work and family responsibilities, reforming welfare, and improving women’s employment opportunities. Crain has received numerous awards and honors. She retired after 35 years. After her death, a scholarship endowment fund was created to establish the Oleta Crain Enrichment Academy. OCEA’s mission is to prepare youth and families to life’s challenges.