Meet Dr. Kathryn Adeline Rainbow-Earhart


Kathryn Adeline Rainbow was born in 1921 in Wheeling West Virginia to John Henry and Addaline Holly Rainbow. She attended high school in West Virginia at Lincoln High School and finished her senior year at Oberlin High School in Ohio. Upon graduation, she attended Fort Valley State College in Georgia, earning her B.S. In 1942 Rainbow went on to Meharry Medical School in Nashville, Tenn. where she earned her M.D. She completed residencies at Harlem Hospital in New York, Mercy-Douglass Hospital in Pennsylvania and Freedman’s Hospital in Washington D.C.

Following her education, she went on to open a private practice in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Then went on to become a staff physician and later superintendent of Lakin State Hospital in West Virginia. She left West Virginia to come to Topeka, Kansas in 1962 to attend the Menninger School of Psychiatry. In 1965 upon completing her studies, she became the First African American to become a psychiatrist in Topeka, Kansas. She went on to work at the Topeka State Hospital and later Shawnee Community Mental Health Center (1979) and then the Kansas State Dept. of Corrections retiring in 1983.

In addition to her work in psychiatry, Rainbow was also involved in her community. She was a past president of the West Virginia Medical Society, Inc., a member of the American Medical Associations, Inc., the Kansas Medical Society, the American Psychiatric Association, the Black Psychiatrists of America and the Kansas District Branch of the American Psychiatric Association. She was listed in the Whos Who in the Midwest, Whos who among Black Americans and in the 1972 edition of the Two Thousand Women of Achievement.

She was a member of the St. John A.M.E. Church in Topeka, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, past president of Topeka Chapter of Links, Inc., past president of the Topeka Club Quota International, Inc. She was a Life Member of the NAACP, a member of the National Council of Negro Women, board of director of the Villages, Hospice Inc, and TARC.

We are grateful for the work Dr. Rainbow-Earhart contributed to the medical community and her work in Topeka and Shawnee County, especially while on the board of TARC (1972-1978 and 1984-1990). Dr. Rainbow-Earhart was founding parent involved with helping form what has become TARC today.