Masako “Mary” Yamada (1920 – 2010) was born in Los Angeles, CA. She aspired to become a doctor but was not accepted to a program where only two slots were allotted to women. She attended the University of Southern California but when she ran out of funds for tuition, relocated to New York and completed a nursing course at Bellevue School of Nursing and held several positions including assistant supervisor in surgery and chief supervisor in pediatrics while studying for her bachelors and master degree in education at Columbia University. When World War II started, she applied many times, but was not initially selected to serve in the US Army due to her Japanese ancestry. She eventually served in the Army Nurse Corps (ANC) and rose to the rank of First Lieutenant. While she never had the chance to serve overseas, she played various roles while in the ANC. After leaving the Army, she joined the Board of Education and became a public school teacher. In 1962, after obtaining a second master degree she became a guidance counselor and worked in that profession until her retirement.