Dentist Judith Marylyn Davenport was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 10, 1939. After graduating from Taylor-Allderdice High School, Davenport attended Penn State University, earning her B.S. degree in 1961. Davenport continued her education several years later, earning a master’s of public health in 1973 and then a doctorate of dental medicine degree in 1979, both from the University of Pittsburgh.
While earning her M.P.H, Davenport focused on low-income dental programs, and this furthered her desire to become a dentist. After completing her D.M.D., Davenport opened her own private practice in 1979, where she continued to practice until she retired in 2000. As a dentist, Davenport was featured in Fred Rogers’ Going to the Dentist, as well as the video Women in Dentistry. In addition, she and her husband, Ronald Davenport, Sr., founded the Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation in 1973. Starting with four radio stations, now the corporation’s holdings include the American Urban Radio Network, with 400 affiliates around the country.
Since her retirement from dentistry, Davenport has remained active on a number of committees in the community. She serves as a trustee of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, the Andy Warhol Museum, the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and the Pittsburgh Public Theater, among others. She is also the chair of the board of directors for Carlow College and is on the Washington Regional Selection Panel for the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. Some of her many awards include the Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania Award and the Distinguished Alumna Award from Pennsylvania State University.