Dorothea Dix Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Martha Martins
Jan 31, 2024 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Jun 24, 2022
Here, at Kidadl, you will learn all the exciting facts about the famous civil rights leader, Dorothea Dix.
All ages
Read time: 3.7 Min

About Dorothea Dix

Dorothea Lynde Dix, better known as only Dorothea Dix, was born in Hampden, Maine, on April 4, 1802.

Dorothea Dix was a famous author and social reformer, best known as the creator of the first generation of American mental asylums. Apart from that, she also took part in the American Civil War and worked as the superintendent of Army nurses.

Dorothea Dix is also the author of 'The Garland Of Flora', 'Memorial Of Miss D. L. Dix In Relation To The Illinois Penitentiary', and 'Remarks On Prisons And Prison Discipline In The United States'. Dix also became a National Women's Hall of Fame inductee in 1979.

Dorothea Dix Net Worth, Earnings & Spending Habits

What was Dorothea Dix’s net worth?

Dorothea Dix began her career at the age of 14 by teaching in a girls' school in Worcester, Massachusetts. In 1821, she launched a school in Boston. Her writing career began in 1824, and for the first few years, she wrote children's books. Her relentless effort resulted in the establishment of Dix Hill Asylum, North Carolina's first medical institute for mentally ill patients, and she had a net worth of $1.5 million at the time of her death in 1887.

How much did Dorothea Dix earn per year?

Dorothea Dix never opened up about her annual income in public.

Height, Age & Physical Attributes

How tall was Dorothea Dix?

Dorothea Dix had a height of 6 ft 1 in (185 cm).

How old was Dorothea Dix?

The famous civil rights leader was born on April 4, 1802, and passed away on July 17, 1887. So, Dorothea Dix was 85 years old at the time of her death.

Childhood And Education

The American civil rights leader was born in Hampden, Maine, in 1802 to Mary Bigelow and Joseph Dix. She grew up with two younger brothers; Joseph and Charles Wesley Dix. All three of them moved to Boston to their grandparents' house around 1814-1815 to escape their father who was cruel to them.

At the age of 14, Dorothea Dix started working at a girls' school in Worcester as a teacher, where she designed the curriculum for her class on her own, focusing more on natural sciences and ethics. Later, in 1821, the 18-year-old civil rights leader established a school in Boston that was funded by some wealthy families.

Family, Romance, And Relationships

Who was Dorothea Dix’s partner?

Dorothea Dix devoted her entire life to fighting for civil rights and never married anyone.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

Dix's trip to Europe in the 1830s played a huge role in her life and inspired her to become a social reformer. During this trip, she met the likes of Elizabeth Fry, William Rathbone, and Samuel Tuke. She also came to know about the British lunacy reform movement and realized the importance of government in social reformation.

Upon returning to the US in 1840-1841, the civil rights leader conducted investigations in order to understand the condition of mentally ill patients in the US. Dorothea Dix found huge differences between public and private hospitals, mainly in their treatment of mentally ill patients. She submitted her findings to the Massachusetts Legislature in 1943. The following year, she conducted investigations in New Jersey, visiting jails, almshouses, and counties. Later in, she sent her report to the New Jersey Legislature.

Subsequently, Dorothea Dix visited New Hampshire, Louisiana, and North Carolina. In 1849, North Carolina Legislature agreed to construct a medical institute for mentally ill patients. It took seven years, and Dix Hill Asylum came to exist in 1856. It was one of the first American mental asylums and was the first in North Carolina. Currently, it is known as Dorothea Dix Hospital. She then moved to Rhode Island and later, to New York. Within 40 years, she convinced 15 state legislators to build over 40 public mental hospitals.

Pennsylvania built its first state mental hospital, Harrisburg State Hospital, in 1853, with the help of Dorothea Dix. In 1875, North Carolina got its second asylum, Broughton State Hospital.

Lastly, her contribution during the American Civil War remains unforgettable even today. Appointed by the Union Army, Dorothea Dix served as the superintendent of Army nurses during the Civil War.

What awards did Dorothea Dix win?

Dorothea Dix was a 1979 inductee of the National Women's Hall of Fame. In addition, the Bangor Mental Health Institute changed its name to the Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center in 2006. Finally, IAU has named a crater on Venus after the famous civil rights leader.

Other Interesting Dorothea Dix Facts And Trivia

  • During her investigations, Dix found out that many prisons in the US were in bad condition, without heat. So, she immediately reached out to the court and fixed these issues.
  • The Dorothea Dix one cent stamp was issued on September 23, 1983.

Dorothea Dix Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

Birth Name

Dorothea Lynde Dix

Date of Birth


Date of Death




Place of Birth



185 cm

Child Star?



Social Reformer, Physician, Nurse, Writer, Mental Health Professional

Net Worth



Mary Bigelow, Joseph Dix


Joseph Dix, Charles Wesley Dix
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Written by Martha Martins


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Martha MartinsLinguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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