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Harold Moody (1882–1947)

© National Portrait Gallery, London. Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Born in Kingston, Jamaica, to a pharmacist, Moody came to England in 1904 to study medicine at Kings College, London. He faced harsh racial prejudices in finding a job as a physician with any existing practice. This left him with no option but to set up his own practice in Peckham, London. Spurred by his own experiences and those of his community, he founded the League of Coloured Peoples in 1931. The organisation aimed to fight discrimination and seek better opportunities and conditions for students and workers from Africa and the West Indies in England. He met Olive Tranter, an English nurse at the Royal Eye Hospital. The couple took the bold step to marry in 1913, a time when relationships between people from different races were unusual and were often met with hostility.

National Portrait Gallery, London



Harold Moody (1882–1947)






H 40.5 x W 23 x D 27.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased, 1996

Work type


Signature/marks description



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