Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One

Countless important contributions to STEM have come from genius Black Americans. They range from revolutionary cancer research to the humble ice cream scoop.

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
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Genius Black Americans have overcome hardship and in some cases tragedy, to lead stellar careers and help make the world a better place to live. These have ranged from groundbreaking research into cancer treatment to the invention of the humble ice cream scoop.

Inspiration

The Final Frontier's Forgotten Heroines

Black inventors, scientists, engineers have discovered many revolutionary and life-changing inventions that have led to some amazing breakthroughs. Discrimination, corruption and other painful socio-cultural factors in human history have caused many other black inventions, and names of their inventors to be lost and forgotten forever.

Here is the complete list of genius Black American Investors and their remarkable discoveries that impacted the world with their inspiring personal stories.

1. Jane C. Wright - Black American (African American) Scientist and Pioneering Cancer Researcher

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Girona7/Wikimedia Commons

Jane C. Wright, also known as Jane Jones, was an American pioneering cancer research scientist and surgeon. She is noted for her contributions to the field of chemotherapy. 

She is particularly well known for her development of the technique of using human tissue cultures rather than those of mice to test chemotherapeutic drugs.

Jane would also pioneer the drug methotrexate for the treatment of breast and skin cancer.

Biography (Life) of Jane C. Wright - Black American Scientist and Pioneering Cancer Researcher

Born in Manhattan on the 30th November 1919, Jane C. Wright was born to a medical family. Her mother was a public school teacher but her paternal grandfather was a physician who graduated from Bencake Medical College.

She would marry David D. Jones in July of 1947 and the couple would go on to have two daughters. David was an attorney and later founded anti-poverty and job training organizations for young Black Americans.

Her husband died in 1976 from a heart attack.

Education of Jane C. Wright - Black American Scientist and Pioneering Cancer Researcher

Jane C. Wright graduated from Meharry Medical College and was one of the first Black American graduates from Harvard Medical School.

The career of Jane C. Wright - Black American Scientist and Pioneering Cancer Researcher

Jane studied medicine at Meharry Medical College and Harvard Medical School. After graduation, she spent some time as a residential doctor at Bellevue Hospital and Harlem Hospital before dedicating herself to research.

Jane Wright joined her father at the Harlem Hospital Cancer Research Center which her father and founded. She succeeded him as Director when he died in 1952.

In 1955Jane accepted the position of Associate Professor of Surgical Research and Director of Cancer Research at New York University.

In 1967, she became the professor of surgery, head of the Cancer Chemotherapy Department, and Associate Dean at New York Medical College.

She would go on to have a very prolific research career until she retired in 1985. She was appointed Emeritus Professor at New York Medical College in 1987 until her death.

Chemotherapy Contributions of Jane C. Wright - Black American Scientist and Pioneering Cancer Researcher

Dr. Jane Wright would build on the work that her father started at Harlem Hospital. Chemotherapy was very experimental at this time but she would work tirelessly in the Hospital's lab to develop the field.

In 1949, Jane and her father began testing of a new chemical on human leukemias and cancers of the lymphatic system. Human trials would soon follow with some success and signs of remission in several patients.

Publications of Jane C. Wright - Black American Scientist and Pioneering Cancer Researcher

Her most notable published papers are:

- "Investigation of the Relationship Between Clinical and Tissue Response to Chemotherapeutic Agents on Human Cancer"- Black American 1957

- "The in Vivo and in Vitro Effects of Chemotherapeutic Agents on Human Neoplastic Diseases"- Black American 1953

Awards of Jane C. Wright - Black American Scientist and Pioneering Cancer Researcher

Jane received many awards during her career including the Damon Runyon Award in 1955 as well as her election as a member of Sigma Xi in 1962 and Alpha Omega Alpha, to name but a few.

She also received various recognitions including an American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Conquer Cancer Foundation 2011 award created in her honor- Black American The J C. Wright, MD, Young Investigator Award.

Death of Jane C. Wright - Black American Scientist and Pioneering Cancer Researcher

Jane Died on the 19th February 2013 in Guttenburg, New Jersey. She was 93 years old.

2. Benjamin Bradley - Black American Engineer and Inventor

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Benjamin Bradley is widely considered as the first person to develop and install a steam engine inside a warship. 

Little else is known of his life and there are no records of his date and cause of death.

Biography (Life) of Benjamin Bradley - Black American Engineer and Inventor

Born as a slave in around 1830, Benjamin was taught to read by his master's children. This was actually illegal at the time and potentially very dangerous for his master.

He showed a natural talent for mathematics and making things. When he was old enough Benjamin was put to work in an office. 

Whilst there he built a working steam engine model using scrap metal. This impressed enough people for him to be referred to, and given a job by, as an assistant science department at
the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Whilst at the academy his duties included running experiments. He also sold his model engine and used the proceeds to further develop his designs.

Education of Benjamin Bradley - Black American Engineer and Inventor

Benjamin Bradley had no formal education but was taught basic literacy by his masters children. He was otherwise self-taught.

Inventions of Benjamin Bradley - Black American Engineer and Inventor - “Steam Engine”

Benjamin Bradley developed the first successful steam engine design for use in a warship. This was achieved in 1856 when an engine capable of propelling a sloop-of-war was developed.  

Because of his legal status as a slave, he was unable to file for a patent. He was able to sell his engine and buy his freedom.

Death of Benjamin Bradley - Black American Engineer and Inventor

His date and cause of death are unknown.

3. Dorothy Vaughan - Black American (African American) Scientist, Mathematician, and Human-Computer

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Beverly Golemba/Wikimedia Commons

Dorothy Vaughan was a Black American mathematician and "Human Computer" who made enormous contributions the U.S. war effort in WW2 and the early space program.

She would also become the first Black American supervisor at NASA.

Biography (Life) of Dorothy Vaughan - Black American Scientist, Mathematician, and Human-Computer

Dorothy was born as Dorothy Johnson on the 20th September 1910 in Kansas City, Missouri. Her parents would later move to Morgantown, West Virginia.

She would later graduate from Beechurst High School in 1925. After graduating with B.A. in Mathematics, she worked as a school teacher to help her family through the great depression.

She married Howard Vaughan in 1932. The couple would have six children together: Ann, Maida, Leonard, Kenneth, Michael, and Donald.

Dorothy would simultaneously rear her children and lead a highly successful career with NACA, later NASA. She would be a lifelong advocate for racial and female equality and a committed Methodist Christian.

She would retire at the age of 60 in 1971.

Education of Dorothy Vaughan - Black American Scientist, Mathematician, and Human-Computer

Dorothy Vaughan won a full scholarship at the historically black college, Wilberforce University. Here she studied for a B.A. in Mathematics and graduated in 1929.

The Career of Dorothy Vaughan - Black American Scientist, Mathematician, and Human-Computer

Dorothy joined NACA in December of 1943. This was only meant to be a temporary war position but would blossom into a lifelong career.

Here she worked as a "human computer" making calculations for individual or teams of engineers. She would later become a team leader for the "West Computers" who were an exclusively non-white group of women "Calculators".

This would make her the first Black American supervisor ever at NACA, later NASA.

Racial segregation was in full force at this time and Dorothy and her team worked and ate in separate parts of the facility. 

NASA & Space Program and Dorothy Vaughan - Black American Scientist, Mathematician, and Human-Computer

NACA would evolve into NASA in 1958. Dorothy and her team of "Computers" were transferred to NASA's new Analysis and Computation Division.

This was a mixed sex, a multi-racial group formed in the aftermath of racial equality laws brought in by the U.S. Government.  

As electronic computers became more prevalent at NASA, the "human computers" would retrain as computer programmers. Dorothy herself would become very talented at using FORTRAN. 

Dorothy and her team would make many significant contributions to the U.S. Space Program.

Death of Dorothy Vaughan - Black American Scientist, Mathematician, and Human-Computer

After retirement, she would live for a further 38 years until she died peacefully on the 10th November 2008.

4. Walter Lincoln Hawkins - Black American (African American) Inventor and Scientist

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Rpi.edu

Walter Lincoln Hawkins was a Black American chemist, inventor, and advocate for Black Americans in science. He is most famed for his invention of the 'plastic cable sheath'.

Biography (Life) of Walter Lincoln Hawkins - Black American Inventor and Scientist

Walter was born the 21st March 1911 in Washington D. C. His mother was a science teacher and his father a lawyer.

As a child, he was fascinated with how things worked and would often take apart and reassemble toys. He would also build his own spring-driven toy boats and working radio in his youth.

He was inspired by his physics teacher at High School to dedicate his life to inventing. After graduating from various Universities he would work with Bell Labs for a number of years.

He finally retired in 1976 and began teaching science and engineering.

Education of Walter Lincoln Hawkins - Black American Inventor and Scientist

Walter studied and graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York in 1932. Unable to find work he enrolled for a Master's degree in Chemistry at Howard University. He graduated in 1934.

Later, he was encouraged to apply for an was awarded a scholarship for a Doctorate at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. He earned his Doctorate in Chemistry in 1939.

He would later take on a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University.

Bell Labs & Polymer Research for Telecommunications and Walter Lincoln Hawkins - Black American Inventor and Scientist

Hawkins joined AT & T's Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey in 1942. This made him the first Black American on the staff.

He would work there for 34 years and developed a reputation for increasing the endurance of plastics. He also helped enable universal telephone service and, most importantly, making it economical.

He retired from Bells Labs in 1976 but remained an active mentor, educator and prominent industry expert for many years. He served as the research director for the Plastics Institute of America between 1976 and 1983.

Inventions of Walter Lincoln Hawkins - Black American Inventor and Scientist - “Plastic Cable Sheath”

Whilst at Bell Labs his research was focussed on polymers. Primarily thermal and oxidative stabilization of polymers for telecommunications.

At this time telephone cables were either coated in highly toxic lead-based materials or polyethylene. The former was expensive and hazardous whilst the latter quickly deteriorated in the presence of UV.

Using his knowledge he, and Victor Lanza invented a polymer that didn't degrade like polyethylene, wasn't hazardous and was very cheap to make.

This new polymer, "plastic cable sheath" subsequently went into production in the 1960's.

Patents of Walter Lincoln Hawkins - Black American Inventor and Scientist

Lincoln wrote three books, over 50 scientific papers and earned 18 U.S. and 129 foreign patents for his works.

Honors and Death of Walter Lincoln Hawkins - Black American Inventor and Scientist

Lincoln received various awards throughout his career:

  • National Medal of Technology,
  • International Award from the Society of Plastics Engineers,
  • Percy L. Julian Award,
  • Distinguished Alumni Award from Howard University,
  • At least five honorary degrees.
  • In 1975 he was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering - The first Black American to do so.
  • Bell Labs’ annual W. Lincoln Hawkins Mentoring Excellence Award is named in his honor.
  • In 2010, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Lincoln Walter died in 1992.

5. Powtawche Valerino - Black American (African American) Mechanical Engineer

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Jesswade88/Wikimedia Commons

Powtawche Valerino was mixed Mississippi Choctaw and Black American Mechanical Engineer who worked for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She played a vital role in the navigational systems of the Cassani mission.

Biography (Life) of Powtawche Valerino - Black American Mechanical Engineer

Powtawche was on the Mississippi Choctaw Indian Reserve to her Choctaw Mother and African-American Father. She spent her early years on the reserve and was enrolled as a member of the tribe.

When she was ten her family moved to New Orleans. After watching the Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion on TV she became very interested in science and technology.

Education of Powtawche Valerino - Black American Mechanical Engineer

Powtawche studied and earned her Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. She would later earn her Masters and Doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from Rice University. 

This made her the first Native American to earn a Ph.D. in engineering at Rice University.

The career of Powtawche Valerino - Black American Mechanical Engineer

Valerino joined NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mission Design and Navigation Section in 2005. Initially, working on the Jupiter Icy Moon Orbiter Mission she was later transferred to the Cassini team.

After 13 years on the Cassini project, she now works on the PArker Solar Probe spacecraft mission. This is scheduled for launch in the Summer of 2018.

Public Engagements of Powtawche Valerino - Black American Mechanical Engineer

Powtawche has worked to help recruit, and, encourage ethnic minorities to pursue careers in STEM. She also helped 21st Century Fox promote the 2017 film "Hidden Figures".

6. Ronald McNair - Black American (African American) Scientist, Physicist, and NASA Astronaut

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: NASA/Wikimedia Commons

Ronald McNair was a Black American physicist and NASA Astronaut. His life was cut tragically short when the Challenger Shuttle exploded in 1986.

Biography (Life) of Ronald McNair - Black American Scientist, Physicist, and NASA Astronaut

Ronald was born on the 21st October 1950 in Lake City, South Carolina. When he was only 9 years old he refused to leave a segregated library until he checked out his books.

The library is now named in his honor.

Education of Ronald McNair - Black American Scientist, Physicist, and NASA Astronaut

Ronald graduated from Carver High School in Lake City, South Carolina in 1967. He would later receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from North Carolina A & T State University in 1971

He later completed his Doctorate in Physics from MIT in 1976.

Pre-NASA Career of Ronald McNair - Black American Scientist, Physicist, and NASA Astronaut

Prior to joining NASA, Ronald developed early experiments in the development of HF/DF and high-pressure CO lasers at MIT. Later in 1975, he studied laser physics at Ecole d'Ete Theorique de Physique, Les Houches.

After graduating from MIT he joined the Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California as a staff physicist in 1976.

NASA Career of Ronald McNair - Black American Scientist, Physicist, and NASA Astronaut

Ronald McNair was selected for the astronaut program in 1978 after which he underwent 1 year of training and evaluation. He qualified in August of 1979.

His first space mission was on STS 41-B which launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida in 1984. This mission was a complete success with Ronald logging a total of 191 hours in space. 

This made him the second African-American to make a space flight.

His next and final assignment was a mission specialist on mission STS 51-L aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in January of 1986.

Challenger Mission and Ronald McNair - Black American Scientist, Physicist, and NASA Astronaut

Ronald McNair was mission specialist for the Challenger Mission when it exploded 9 miles (14.5 km) over the Atlantic just after takeoff on the 18th January 1986

The disaster would change the space shuttle program forever.

Honors of Ronald McNair - Black American Scientist, Physicist, and NASA Astronaut

  • Honorary Doctorate of Laws from North Carolina A&T State University in 1978,
  • Honorary Doctorate of Science from Morris College in 1980,
  • Honorary Doctorate of science from the University of South Carolina in 1984.
  • Posthumously awarded Congressional Space Medal of Honor

And many more special honors.

Death of Ronald McNair - Black American Scientist, Physicist, and NASA Astronaut

Ronald McNair was famously killed in the ill-fated Challenger Mission on January the 28th in 1986. He was only 36 years old. 

Donald was survived by his wife Cheryl and their two children.

7. Beebe Steven Lynk - Black American (African American) Scientist and Chemist

Beebe Steven Lynk was one of the first African-American female chemistry teachers in the United States. She was also a famed author and helped found the University of West Tennessee.

Biography (Life) of Beebe Steven Lynk - Black American Scientist and Chemist

Beebe Steven was born on October 24th, 1872 in Mason, Tennessee. Very little is known of her early life, whether she had siblings or not and who her parents were.

After graduating with a bachelors degree in Chemistry she founded the University of West Tenessee with her husband.

Education of Beebe Steven Lynk - Black American Scientist and Chemist

Beebe attended Lane College in Jackon, Tennessee. She graduated with a degree in 1892 at the age of 20.

A year later she married Dr. Miles Vandahurst who was the founder, editor, and publisher of Medical and Surgical Observer. This would become the first medical journal to be edited by a Black American.

She later earned a PhC (Pharmaceutical Chemist) degree in 1903. 

The career of Beebe Steven Lynk - Black American Scientist and Chemist

Beebe and her husband founded the University of West Tennessee in Jackon in 1900. After completing her PhC she immediately took up a position as a professor medical Latin botany and materia medica at the University's new medical school.

Beebe and her husband moved the University to Memphis in around 1907. It would later close down in 1924 due to financial problems but issued 216 medical degrees whilst it was open.

African-American Women’s Club Movement and Beebe Steven Lynk - Black American Scientist and Chemist

Lynk played an active role in the early Black Women's Club Movement. Lynk was also a member of the National Federation of Women’s Clubs.

Here also served briefly as the treasurer of the Tennessee State Federation of that organization.

In 1896 she authored her famous book, Advice to Colored Women. It reflected the organization’s mission to raise the social and cultural status of Black American women through education and fostering respectability.

Death of Beebe Steven Lynk - Black American Scientist and Chemist

Beebe died on the 11th of November 1948 in Memphis Tenessee. She was 76 years old and was survived by her husband.

8. Louis T. Wright - Black American (African American) Scientist, Surgeon and Civil Rights Activist

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Joe Covello/Wikimedia Commons

 Louis T. Wright was an American civil rights activist and surgeon.

Biography (Life) of Louis T. Wright - Black American Scientist, Surgeon and Civil Rights Activist

Louis T. Wright was born on the 23rd July 1891 in LaGrange, Georgia. His father was a slave who actually obtained a formal education.

He would go onto to become the first African-American surgeon at Harlem Hospital. He would spend thirty years earned a reputation as an excellent surgeon and civil rights supporter.

Education of Louis T. Wright - Black American Scientist, Surgeon and Civil Rights Activist

Wright graduated from Clark Atlanta University in 1911. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1915.

He finished fourth in his class. He would later complete his postgraduate studies at Freedman's Hospital in Washington D.C., and returned to Georgia.

The career of Louis T. Wright - Black American Scientist, Surgeon and Civil Rights Activist

After completing his studies and moving back to Georgia, Wright joined the Army Medical Corps. He served as a lieutenant during the first world war. 

He returned to the U.S. in 1919 and moved to New York to set up a medical practice in Harlem. Louis also established connections with Harlem Hospital.

In 1929, he was appointed as the first African-American police surgeon for the New York Police Department.

Throughout his thirty years of practice, he started the Harlem Hospital Bulletin and headed a team that pioneered chlortetracycline use on humans.

He would later earn a reputation of excellence for treating head injuries and was made a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Not to mention the American Medical Association.

Civil Rights Activism and Louis T. Wright - Black American Scientist, Surgeon and Civil Rights Activist

Louis Tompkins Wright would build a reputation for his excellent medical research and his support for racial equality in the field of medicine.

He was also heavily involved with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He served as its chairman for almost 20 years.

Death and Legacy of Louis T. Wright - Black American Scientist, Surgeon and Civil Rights Activist

He died on the 8th October 1952 aged 61 in New York City.

9. Katherine Johnson - Black American (African American) Scientist, Physicist, and Mathematician

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: NASA/Sean Smith/Wikimedia Commons

Katherine Johnson was a Black American mathematician renowned for her work at NASA. Notably, she is remembered for her pivotal work on calculating orbital mechanics for manned NASA missions.

She would be become one of the famed NACA, later NASA, Langley 'Human Computers'.

Biography (Life) of Katherine Johnson - Black American Scientist, Physicist and Mathematician

Katherine was born in 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, Greenbrier County, West Virginia. She was the youngest of four children to her father, a lumberjack, and her mother, a teacher.

She would show an interest and talent for mathematics at a young age which her parents cultivated. Her home state did not offer public schooling for African-American students past 8th grade so her parents arranged for her to attend high school at Institute, West Virginia.

Education of Katherine Johnson - Black American Scientist, Physicist and Mathematician

After graduating from high school at age 14 she entered West Virginia State - then a black only college. Here she took every math course she could attend. She was also mentored by many professors. 

She later graduated summa cum laude with degrees in Mathematics and French at the age of 18 in 1937.

The career of Katherine Johnson - Black American Scientist, Physicist and Mathematician

After graduation, she took up a teaching post at a black public school in Marian, Virginia. After her first marriage, she resigned her position and enrolled in a graduate mathematics program.

She would drop out of the program when she became pregnant with her first child but would later pursue a career as a research mathematician.

In 1952 she heard about, and subsequently applied for, a position with NACA at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. Between 1953 and 1958 she worked as one of the famed 'Human Computers'. 

After NACA merged with NASA in 1958 she would stay with them until her retirement in 1986.

Apollo Mission, Space Shuttle and Other NASA Related Contributions of Katherine Johnson - Black American Scientist, Physicist and Mathematician

Whilst at NASA, she made significant contributions to the Space Program. She famously calculated the trajectory for the 5th of May, 1961 space flight of Alan Shepard and his launch window.

She would later, like other 'Human  Computers' work directly with the digital computer later in her career. Katherine was also heavily involved in the Apollo 11 mission to the moon.

Legacy, Awards, and Honors of Katherine Johnson - Black American Scientist, Physicist and Mathematician

Katherine co-authored many scientific papers throughout her career, 26 in total. She has also been garnered with many honors throughout her career including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.

Johnson has since been honored as one of the 100 most influential women worldwide by the BBC in 2016

She also features in the highly acclaimed 'Hidden Figures' film. 

10. Daniel Hale Williams - Black American (African American) Scientist and General Surgeon

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Grendelkhan/Wikimedia Commons

Daniel Hale Williams was an African-American general surgeon who performed the second successful and documented pericardium surgical procedure.

He would also found Chicago's Provident Hospital. 

Education of Daniel Hale Williams - Black American Scientist and General Surgeon

Daniel Hale Williams graduated from Northwestern University Medical School in 1883 with a medical degree.

The career of Daniel Hale Williams - Black American Scientist and General Surgeon

After graduating with a medical degree, Daniel opened his own practice in Chicago, Illinois.

He would later found the Provident Hospital in 1891 which also acted as a training school for nurses. This was primarily founded for use by African-American residents. 

After his famed surgical work in 1893, he was appointed as the surgeon in chief of Freedman's Hospital in Washington D. C. He held this post till 1898

He would later take up a seat as a Professor of Clinical Surgery at Meharry Medical College, Nashville. Daniel would also help found other hospitals for the benefit of Black Americans. 

He co-founded the National Medical Association for Black American Doctors in 1895 and became a charter member of the American College of Surgeons. The only African-American to do so.

Open-Heart Surgery and Daniel Hale Williams - Black American Scientist and General Surgeon

In 1893, he became the first Black American ever to perform pericardium surgical procedure, to repair a chest stab wound. The surgery was performed with the aid of penicillin and blood transfusion at Provident Hospital, Chicago.

Personal Life of Daniel Hale Williams - Black American Scientist and General Surgeon

Daniel Williams was born in 1856 in the city of Hollidaysburg in Pennsylvania to mixed-race parents. He was the fifth of seven children.

The family eventually moved to Annapolis, Maryland. After his father died he took up an apprenticeship with a shoemaker in Baltimore. 

He would later open his own barber shop in Edgerton, Wisconsin. He would become fascinated by the work of a local physician and decided to try his hand at it.

He apprenticed with Dr. Henry W. Palmer and enrolled at Chicago Medical College in 1880. 

Williams would die a widower of a stroke in 1931 in Idlewild, Michigan.

Legacy and Honors of Daniel Hale Williams - Black American Scientist and General Surgeon

Daniel received various honorary degrees from Howard and Wilberforce Universities. He was also a Charter Member of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the Chicago Surgical Society.

A Pensylvania State Historical Marker has also been placed on U.S. Route 22 in his honor.

TV and Other Media Representations of Daniel Hale Williams - Black American Scientist and General Surgeon

Daniel has, in recent years, appeared in popular culture. These have included:

  • Stevie Wonder's "Black Man" track is widely credited to Williams achievements,
  • Tim Ried played Daniel Williams in the TV series, Sister in 1998,
  • He was listed as one of the 100 Greatest Black Americans in 2002.

11. Mae C. Jemison - Black American (African American) Engineer, Physician, and NASA Astronaut

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: NASA/Wikimedia Commons

Mae C. Jemison is an American physician, engineer and NASA astronaut. She was the first Black American woman to ever travel in space on the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 1992.

Biography (Life) of Mae C. Jemison - Black American Engineer, Physician and NASA Astronaut

She was born on the 17th October 1956 in Decatur, Alabama. Her father was a maintenance supervisor for a charity and her mother was an elementary school teacher.

She was fascinated with things related to science from a young age. Mae, much to her parent's dismay,  performed a series of experiments with some pus after she suffered from an infection. 

After seeing this, her parents knew they had to support her later decision to go into science.

Education of Mae C. Jemison - Black American Engineer, Physician and NASA Astronaut

Jemison graduated from Morgan Park High School in Chicago in 1973. She received her bachelors of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University in 1977.

She would pursue and complete a doctorate degree in Medicine from Cornell University in 1981.

Medical Career of Mae C. Jemison - Black American Engineer, Physician and NASA Astronaut

Dr. Jemison, postdoctoral studies, completed an internship at Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center in 1982. She then worked as a GP with INA/Ross Loos Medical Group in LA until December of the same year.

Between 1983 and 1985 she worked as the Area Peace Corps Medical Officer in Sierra Leone and Liberia. 

She returned to the U.S. in 1985 and joined the CIGNA Health Plans of California working, once again as a GP.

NASA Career of Mae C. Jemison - Black American Engineer, Physician and NASA Astronaut

In 1987, she applied for and was accepted into the NASA Astronaut Program. During her time with NASA, she was responsible for aiding launch activities at the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida, verification of Shuttle computer software and other avionics work on the Space Shuttle Program.

She was the science mission specialist aboard STS-47 Spacelab-J in September of 1992. This Space Shuttle Mission aboard Endeavour would complete 127 orbits of the Earth and clock up over 190 hours in space.

She resigned from NASA the following year in March of 1993. 

Filmography of Mae C. Jemison - Black American Engineer, Physician and NASA Astronaut

Mae has made various TV appearances throughout her life including a 1993 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, as Lieutenant Palmer.

She has also made various appearances in other TV programs as herself.

Honors and Awards of Mae C. Jemison - Black American Engineer, Physician and NASA Astronaut

Mae has received many honors and awards throughout her career. Many are listed here on her official NASA biography. 

12. Warren M. Washington - Black American (African American) Atmospheric Scientist

Warren M. Washington is an African-American expert meteorologist and atmospheric scientist. He was the former chair of the National Science Board and currently serves as the senior scientist for the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Biography (Life) of Warren M. Washington - Black American Atmospheric Scientist

Warren was born in Portland, Oregon on the 28th August 1936. His father was a waiter and his mother a practical nurse.

Whilst in high school, he was advised to attend business school but chose science instead. He would go on to become one of the world's most influential climate scientists and would become well respected for his work on climate modeling. 

Today he lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife Mary. The couple has three children together.

Education of Warren M. Washington - Black American Atmospheric Scientist

Warren graduated from the Oregon State University with a bachelors degree in physics and later a masters degree in meteorology.

He would later complete his doctorate in meteorology from Pennsylvania State University in 1964. 

The career of Warren M. Washington - Black American Atmospheric Scientist

After his doctorate, he worked for a time as a research assistant at Penn State. Between 1968 and 1971 he worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan.

He would later work for the National Center for Atmospheric Research from 1972 onwards. By 1987 he would have worked his way up to the position of Director of the Climate and Global Dynamics Division.

As his professional reputation grew he would later serve on various national commissions on climate change. He was even appointed as an adviser for the Federal Government including serving no less than four U.S. Presidents. 

Between 1978 and 1984, he served on the President’s National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere. He was elected President of the American Meteorological Society in 1994.

Research of Warren M. Washington - Black American Atmospheric Scientist

Washington published numerous studies during his time at NCAR but he also wrote and released two books:

- An Introduction to Three-Dimensional Climate Modeling

Odyssey in Climate Modeling, Global Warming, and Advising Five Presidents - His 2006 autobiography

Awards of Warren M. Washington - Black American Atmospheric Scientist

Warren has received many awards and honor during his career. These have included:

  • The 1997 Biological and Environmental Research Program Exceptional Service Award for Atmospheric Science from the U.S. Department of Energy,
  • The 1999 National Weather Service Modernization Award'
  • The National Medal of Science in 2010, and,
  • He was elected as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2013.

He has also been recognized for his efforts to encourage minority youngsters to pursue careers in atmospheric science.

13. Annie Easley - Black American (African American) Computer Scientist, Mathematician, and Rocket Scientist

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Annie Easley. Source: NASA/Wikimedia Commons

Annie Easley is a Black American rocket and computer scientist who helped create software for a variety of NASA systems. She is most known for her work on the Centaur Rocket. 

Annie also, in no small part, helped make modern-day space flight possible. 

Biography (Life) of Annie Easley - Black American Computer Scientist, Mathematician and Rocket Scientist

Annie was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1933. During her time at school, she firmly believed her only potential careers were either nursing or teaching.

She would initially begin studying as a pharmacist at Xavier University but dropped out in 1954 when she married.

Annie then worked as a substitute teacher helping to prepare blacks for literacy tests that were prerequisites to register to vote at the time.

Once her husband was discharged from the army the couple moved to Cleveland where she heard about the interesting NACA 'Computers'.

Education of Annie Easley - Black American Computer Scientist, Mathematician and Rocket Scientist

She would later earn a Bachelors degree of Science in Mathematics from Cleveland University in 1977 whilst working for NASA.

NACA Career of Annie Easley - Black American Computer Scientist, Mathematician and Rocket Scientist

Annie Easley began working at NACA as a 'Human Computer' in 1955. Her work primarily revolved around making complex manual mathematical calculations for NACA engineers.

She would spend the next 34 years working for NACA, then NASA. Annie would later become one of the first black computer programmers. 

Her later career was dedicated to the research on alternative-energy technologies and conservation systems. 

Death of Annie Easley - Black American Computer Scientist, Mathematician and Rocket Scientist

Annie Easley died on 25th June 2011. She was 78 years old

14. Arthur B. C. Walker Jr. - Black American (African American) Scientist, Solar Physicist and Pioneer in EUV/XUV Optics

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Math.Buffalo

Arthur Bertram Cuthbert Walker Junior was an African-American educator and physicist who helped develop solar telescopes. These telescopes helped capture the first detailed images of the Sun's outermost atmosphere in the last 1980's.

He is also credited with helping create more Black Physicists with Ph.D.'s than any other single university in the U.S.

Biography (Life) of Arthur B. C. Walker Jr. - Black American Scientist Solar Physicist, and Pioneer in EUV/XUV Optics

Arthur was born in Cleveland, Ohio on the 24th August 1936. He was an only child to his lawyer father and his social worker and Sunday school teacher mother. 

He would develop an early interest in science. An interest that would develop into a burning passion for the rest of his life. 

Education of Arthur B. C. Walker Jr. - Black American Scientist Solar Physicist, and Pioneer in EUV/XUV Optics

Arthur would graduate from the Case Western Institute of Technology in 1957 with a bachelors degree in physics.

He would later pursue a masters in 1958 and complete his doctorate in 1962 from the University of Illinois. Walker was also elected to membership of Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi and Sigma Pi Phi fraternity for Black professionals.

The career of Arthur B. C. Walker Jr. - Black American Scientist Solar Physicist, and Pioneer in EUV/XUV Optics

Arthur began his career working for the U.S. Air Force. His work here ignited his interest in space technology. After completing his military obligations in 1965, Walker joined the Aerospace Corporation.

He worked with them for 9 years. Here he focussed his research on solar radiation, specifically extreme UV light and soft X-Rays. Both of these affected the chemistry of the Earth's upper atmosphere including the Ozone layer.

Between the late 1970's and '80's Walker worked with various other scientists to develop a new scientific technique, called multilayer technology. This was later developed for use in space producing encouraging results with images of the Sun's corona in the later 1980's.

This tech can now be found on two of NASA's major satellites. 

Walker worked for Stanford as a Professor of Physics in the 1970's. He would eventually work his way up to hold a joint position in the Physics and Applied Physics departments at Stanford by 1991.

Walker was later be appointed by Ronald Regan to serve on the investigating panel for the 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle disaster.

Death of Arthur B. C. Walker Jr. - Black American Scientist Solar Physicist, and Pioneer in EUV/XUV Optics

Arthur Walker died on the 29th April 2001 peacefully at home on the Stanford Campus. He had finally lost his battle with cancer.

15. Jeanette J. Epps - Black American (African American) Aerospace Engineer and NASA Astronaut

Jeanette J. Epps is a Black American aerospace engineer and NASA astronaut. Before becoming an astronaut she worked for the Ford Motor Company and the CIA.

Biography (Life) of Jeanette J. Epps - Black American Aerospace Engineer and NASA Astronaut

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Jeanette Epps. Source: NASA/Wikimedia Commons

Jeanette was born on the 3rd November 1970 in Syracuse, New York. She was one of seven children to her father, Henry, and mother, Luberta. 

Her parents moved to New York during the so-called great migration.

Jeanette would later graduate from Le Moyne College and the University of Maryland before working at the Ford Motor Company. She would later join NASA's astronaut program.

Education of Jeanette J. Epps - Black American Aerospace Engineer and NASA Astronaut

Jeanette graduated from the Le Moyne College with a Bachelors of Science degree in Physics and later earned a Master and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in Aerospace Engineering.

The career of Jeanette J. Epps - Black American Aerospace Engineer and NASA Astronaut

After graduation, Jeanette worked for a time at the Ford Motor Company. She would later work as an intelligence officer at the CIA before joining NASA in 2009.

She qualified as an astronaut in 2011 and has since also served as an aquanaut for the Aquarius underwater laboratory during the NEEMo 18 mission.

ISS Mission and Jeanette J. Epps - Black American Aerospace Engineer and NASA Astronaut

It was announced by NASA in January of 2017 that Jeanette will form part of the crew for the ISS from mid-2018 onwards for missions 56 and 57. She will serve as the flight engineer for the missions.

Sadly she was later pulled from the misson.

This would have made her the first Black American long-term ISS crew member and 14th Black American to go to space. Black American astronauts have visited the station in the past but never lived there long-term.

16. Neil deGrasse Tyson - Black American (African American) Scientist, Astrophysicist, and Author

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Norwegian University of Science and Technology/Wikimedia Commons

Neil deGrasse Tyson is a Black American scientist, Astrophysicist, author and science communicator, and educator. He is also the Frederick P.  Rose Director for the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space, New York City.

He is also a famed TV presenter and, most importantly, a wine enthusiast.

Biography (Life) of Neil deGrasse Tyson - Black American Scientist, Astrophysicist, and Author

Neil was born in New York City on the 5th October 1958. Tyson was the second of three children. His mother was a Gerontologist for the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare and his father was a sociologist and HR Commissioner for NYC's mayor.

He spent his early childhood in Castle Hill the Bronx but would eventually move to Riverdale. His early education was spent attending public schools in the Bronx area.

After a visit to the Hayden Planetarium at the age of 9, Neil would never shake his fascination of Astrophysics. He would regularly attend lectures at the Planetarium during his teenage years.

Between 1972 and 1976 Neil was the school's wrestling captain and the editor of the schools Physical Science Journal.

He currently lives in Lower Manhattan with his Wife, Alice Young. The couple has two children.

Education of Neil deGrasse Tyson - Black American Scientist, Astrophysicist, and Author

Neil studied at Havard University and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Physics in 1980. He would then study at the University of Austin where he graduated with a Masters Degree in Astronomy in 1983.

Neil then completed an MPhil in Astrophysics at Columbia University in 1989. And finally, he earned his P.h.D. in Astrophysics at Columbia in 1991.

The career of Neil deGrasse Tyson - Black American Scientist, Astrophysicist, and Author

Neil's career technically between his BA and MPhil when he lectured at the University of Maryland. 

After earning his doctorate, Neil spent a few years as a postdoctoral research assistant at Princeton University. He would eventually join the Hayden Planetarium in 1994 whilst simultaneously continuing his work at Princeton.

He would soon be promoted to Acting Director of the Planetarium in 1995. During the Bush Administration, he formed part of a 12-member commission to study the Future of the US Aerospace Industry.

Publications of Neil deGrasse Tyson - Black American Scientist, Astrophysicist, and Author

Neil is an accomplished scientist and has a large catalog of research publications. He has also published 13 books throughout his career. 

Neil is best known for his "Origins: The Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution". 

Between 1995 and 2005 he was a monthly contributor to the natural history magazine, "Universe".

His recent works include the New York bestseller "Death by Black Hole and other Cosmic Quandaries" and "The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet".

Awards and Honors of Neil deGrasse Tyson - Black American Scientist, Astrophysicist, and Author

Neil is the recipient of more than twenty honorary degrees. He is also the recipient of NASA's Distinguished Public Service Medal.

Neil has also become immortalized with the asteroid 13123 named "Tyson" in his honor. He was also voted the "Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive" by People Magazine in 2000.

Media Appearances of Neil deGrasse Tyson - Black American Scientist, Astrophysicist, and Author

His TV science presenter career started in 2004 when he hosted the four-part PBS Nova series "Origins". He would later narrate the documentary "400 years of the Telescope" for PBS in 2009. He was also a regular on the History Channel's popular series "The Universe".

Tyson launched his highly popular "Star Talk" in 2009. This was meant to be a weekly podcast that would run for only 13 weeks. It has since evolved into a regular radio talk show.

17. Bettye Washington Greene - Black American (African American) Black American Scientist and Chemist

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Science History Institute/Wikimedia Commons

Bettye Washington Greene is widely credited as being the first African-American female Ph.D. chemist to work at the Dow Chemical Company. Here she would research and help develop latex and other polymers.

Biography (Life) of Bettye Washington Greene - Black American Scientist and Chemist

Bettye was born on the 20th March 1935 in Fort Worth, Texas. She would develop an interest in chemistry at a young age pushing her to study it at university in 1955.

After her marriage to Veteran Airforce Captain William Miller Greene in 1955, she returned to Academia to complete he Ph.D. and joined and worked for Dow Chemical Company for her entire professional life.

Education of Bettye Washington Greene - Black American Scientist and Chemist

Bettye attended segregated public schools in Texas and eventually graduated from the I. M. Terrel High School in 1952.

She would later earn her Bachelors of Science in Chemistry from the Tuskegee Institute, Alabama in 1955. Bettye later earned her Doctorate in Physical Chemistry at the Wayne State University in Detroit in 1962.

The career of Bettye Washington Greene - Black American Scientist and Chemist

Bettye joined the Dow Chemical Company's Britton Research Laboratory in Midland, Michigan in 1965. This made her the first African-American woman to join the company as a professional.

Whilst there her work focussed on colloid and latex chemistry as well as their interactions with paper.

She was promoted to Senior Research Chemist in 1970. She would continue working for Dow well into the later 1980's before retiring in 1990.

Patents of Bettye Washington Greene - Black American Scientist and Chemist

Greene held several patents including:

  • Latex-based adhesives made from emulsion polymerization,
  • Composite sheet preparation with stable latexes that contained phosphorus surface groups,
  • Stable latexes containing phosphorus surface groups.

Philanthropy and Bettye Washington Greene - Black American Scientist and Chemist

Bettye was a charter member of the Midland, Michigan Alumni Chapter for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. This is a national public service group focussed on working with African Women. 

Death of Bettye Washington Greene - Black American Scientist and Chemist

Bettye passed away on the 16th June 1995, she was 60 years old.

18. Charles Henry Turner - Black American (African American) Scientist, Research Biologist, Educator, Zoologist and Comparative Psychologist

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: William Avery/Wikimedia Commons

 Charles Henry Turner was an African-American research biologist, zoologist, educator and comparative psychologist.

Biography (Life) of Charles Henry Turner - Black American Scientist, Research Biologist, Educator, Zoologist and Comparative Psychologist

Charles was born the 3rd February 1867 in Cincinnati, Ohio. After earned Bachelors and P.h.D. degrees, he devoted his life to teaching children and studying insects.

Education of Charles Henry Turner - Black American Scientist, Research Biologist, Educator, Zoologist and Comparative Psychologist

Charles became the first Black American to earn a Bachelors degree from the Univesity of Chicago in 1891. He would later, in 1907, earn a Doctorate from the University of Chicago in Zoology.

The career of Charles Henry Turner - Black American Scientist, Research Biologist, Educator, Zoologist and Comparative Psychologist

Henry decided to teach at high schools instead of pursuing further work in Academia and research. This is widely cited as being a decision made by Charles to devote more of his time to studying insects.

It is thought that his decision to teach was because he was unable to get an appointment at the University of Chicago. Charles might have also not been able to work at the Tuskegee Institute as his salary would have been unaffordable.

Whatever the truth he clearly showed a preference for teaching and mentoring young Black American students.

Publications of Charles Henry Turner - Black American Scientist, Research Biologist, Educator, Zoologist and Comparative Psychologist

Charles published no less than 49 papers on invertebrates throughout his life. These included:

- Hunting Habits of an American Sand Wasp

- Psychological Notes on the Gallery Spider

Through his work, he became the first entomologist to show that insects can hear and distinguish pitch. He also found that cockroaches can learn through trial and error.

He also showed that honeybees could see in color. 

Death of Charles Henry Turner - Black American Scientist, Research Biologist, Educator, Zoologist and Comparative Psychologist

Charles Henry Turner died on Valentines Days in 1923. He had suffered from acute myocarditis whilst living in Chicago.

Charles was buried in Lincoln Cemetery in Chicago.

The legacy of Charles Henry Turner - Black American Scientist, Research Biologist, Educator, Zoologist and Comparative Psychologist

Since his death, several schools have been named in his honor in St. Louis, Missouri. He is remembered on the Clark Atlanta University campus on the Tanner-Turner Hall building.

His life and times are the subjects of the 1997 children's book Bug Watching with Charles Henry Turner by M.E. Ross.

In recent years, his research has been reintroduced to the public through the publication of Selected Papers and Biography of Charles Henry Turner, Pioneer of Comparative Animal Behavior Studies (2003).

19. Donna Auguste - Black American (African American) Scientist, Businesswoman, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist

Donna Auguste is a Black American entrepreneur, businesswoman, scientist, and philanthropist. She founded and served as the CEO of Freshwater Software between 1996 and 2001.

Prior to this, she worked as a senior engineering manager at Apple Computer.

Biography (Life) of Donna Auguste - Black American Scientist, Businesswoman, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Donna was born in 1958 in Texas but soon moved to Louisiana and then to Berkeley California. She has three sisters and was raised by her single mother.

From an early age, she loved to take apart electrical appliances to see how they worked. She would later take an interest in software engineering.

Education of Donna Auguste - Black American Scientist, Businesswoman, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Donna enrolled in electrical engineering and computer science program at the University of California, Berkeley. Here she earned her Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. 

She later completed her Masters in Computer Science at Carnegie-Mellon University in 1983.

The career of Donna Auguste - Black American Scientist, Businesswoman, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Donna interned at the Xerox Corporation's Palo Alto Research Center whilst conducting research at Carnegie-Mellon University. Whilst there she met the future founders of IntelliCorp.

In 1986, she would join IntelliCorp as a software engineer focussing on AI. After leaving IntelliCorp and taking a short career break she joined Apple in 1990.

At Apple, her work primarily revolved around the Newton PDA development project.

She moved to Bouler, Colorado in 1996 and joined the U.S. West Advanced Technologies as senior director. At this time, she foresaw the great potential for the internet and decided to found her own company Freshwater Software.

“Freshwater Software Inc.” and Donna Auguste - Black American Scientist, Businesswoman, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist

Freshwater Software was founded to provide, maintain and monitor business-critical web applications. It would grow rapidly to become a multi-million dollar company that served Fortune 500 Companies like Alta Vista, IBM, and Microsoft.

Donna would later sell it to Mercury Interactive Corporation for $147 Million in 2001.

Personal Life of Donna Auguste - Black American Scientist, Businesswoman, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist

Donna founded the Leave a Little Room Foundation, LLC after selling Freshwater Software. This is a philanthropic organization devoted to providing housing, electricity, and vaccinations for underprivileged communities around the world. 

Auguste is also a devoted Catholic and a member of Cure d'Ars Parish in Denver.

20. Vivien Thomas - Black American (African American) Scientist and Surgical Technician

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Bob Gee/Wikimedia Commons

Vivien Theodore Thomas was an African-American surgical technician who would go on to develop procedures to teat blue baby syndrome in the 1940's.

'Blue baby' syndrome is now termed cyanotic heart disease.

Biography (Life) of Vivien Thomas - Black American Scientist and Surgical Technician

Vivien was born in New Iberia, Louisiana on the 29th August 1910. He would later attend the Pearl High School in Nashville in the 1920's.

With hopes of studying to become a doctor, the Great Depression forced him to rethink his plans. He spent some time during the summer of 1929 working as a carpenter working at Vanderbilt University.

After being made redundant shortly afterward, Thomas enrolled at the Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial College as a premedical student.

His plans were once again derailed during this period of market uncertainty and he managed to secure a job as a surgical research technician under Dr. Alfred Blalick at Vanderbilt University.

Thomas would marry his wife Clara and have two children. 

Education of Vivien Thomas - Black American Scientist and Surgical Technician

Vivien would never receive a formal education prior to starting his career as a surgical technician. For his services rendered he would later receive an Honorary Doctorate from the Johns Hopkins University in 1976.

On a technicality, the Doctorate was one of Law, not Medicine but it, nonetheless, earned him, finally, the title of Doctor after 37 years of surgery.

Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas - Black American Scientist and Surgical Technician

On his first day of work with Blalock, Vivien was thrown in at the deep end and assisted Alfred on a surgical experiment on a dog. At the end of the day, Thomas was told he would be part of another experiment the next day.

Within weeks Thomas was starting similar surgeries on his own. He was, legally, classified and paid as a Janitor despite the fact that by the mid-1930's his duties were not indistinguishable from that of Postdoctoral lab researchers.

The Great Depression would very much dictate Vivien's career. After securing his job with Dr. Alfred Blalock, Nashville's Bank failed and wiped out his savings. 

He was, therefore, thankful to have a secure job, though low paying, during this time of severe economic insecurity. 

Vivien and Blalock would go on to make great leaps in human understanding of the causes of hemorrhagic and traumatic shock. Their work would ultimately save thousands of lives during WW2.

Their findings would ultimately lay the foundation for the revolutionary lifesaving surgery they were to perform at Johns Hopkins a decade later.

Death of Vivien Thomas - Black American Scientist and Surgical Technician

Vivien died of pancreatic cancer on the 26th November 1985. He has since been recognized as a key player in the pioneering work achieved by Blalock.

21. Joan Higginbotham - Black American (African American) Engineer and NASA Astronaut

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: NASA/Wikimedia Commons

Joan Higginbotham is a Black American NASA Astronaut and engineer. She flew on the Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS-116.

She is the third Black American woman to ever go into space.

Biography (Life) of Joan Higginbotham - Black American Engineer and NASA Astronaut

She was born in Chicago, Illinois on the 3rd August 1964. She would attend Whitney Young Magnet High School before enrolling at South Illinois University Carbondale.

Joan is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and The Links, Incorporated.

Education of Joan Higginbotham - Black American Engineer and NASA Astronaut

Joan graduated from University with a Bachelors of Science Degree in 1987 and a Master of Management Science in 1992. She also graduated with a Masters in Space Systems in 1996 from the Florida Institute of Technology.

The career of Joan Higginbotham - Black American Engineer and NASA Astronaut

Joan started working for NASA in 1987 whilst studying for her Bachelor's degree as a Payload Electrical Engineer. She would continue to be an integral part of the Space Shuttle team and would participate in 53 Space Shuttle launches whilst working at the Kennedy Space Center.

She was later selected for the astronaut program in 1996.

NASA, and Joan Higginbotham - Black American Engineer and NASA Astronaut

She graduated from the program would later log over 308 hours in space during her STS-116 mission. She would decide to leave NASA in 2007 to pursue work in the private sector.

Awards and Honors of Joan Higginbotham - Black American Engineer and NASA Astronaut

Joan was given various awards and honors during her lifetime. These included the NASA Exceptional Service Medal as well as an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of New Orleans.

22. Lewis Temple - Black American (African American) Inventor, Blacksmith, and Abolitionist

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: LGagnon/Wikimedia Commons

Lewis Temple was a Black American inventor, blacksmith, and abolitionist.

Biography (Life) of Lewis Temple - Black American Inventor, Blacksmith, and Abolitionist

Lewis was born into slavery in Tampa, Florida on the 1st October 1800. He was moved to the whaling village of New Bedford, Massachusetts during the 1820's.

Here he worked as a blacksmith. He married soon after to Mary Clark but the couple had three children.

Inventions of Lewis Temple - Black American Inventor, Blacksmith, and Abolitionist - “Temple’s Toggle”

Lewis is best remembered for his invention of "Temple's Toggle" or "Temple's Blood" that was a harpoon based on an ancient Eskimo design. In time whalers would take to using his harpoon over existing older designs. 

He never patented it and as such the design was freely copied.

Accident and Death of Lewis Temple - Black American Inventor, Blacksmith, and Abolitionist

Lewis lived well and built a large sized shop. He would later be seriously injured after falling down a sewer hole from negligent city construction works.

After successfully winning a lawsuit for the same, where he was awarded $2,000, he died of his injuries on the 5th May 1854 at the age of 54. He never received the compensation and all profits from his harpoon and shop were used to clear his debts.

23. Stephanie Wilson - Black American (African American) Engineer and NASA Astronaut

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: NASA/Wikimedia Commons

Stephanie Wilson is the second Black American woman to go to space. She is also an engineer and NASA astronaut.

Wilson would clock up a total of 42 days in space which is more than any other Black American astronaut.

Biography (Life) of Stephanie Wilson - Black American Engineer and NASA Astronaut

Stephanie was born on the 27th September 1966 in Boston, Massachusetts. Her family would move a year later to the Pittsfield. 

Her father had a long career in electronic engineering and worked for Raytheon, Sprague Electric, and Lockheed Martin.

Education of Stephanie Wilson - Black American Engineer and NASA Astronaut

Stephanie graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelors Degree of Science in Engineering Science in 1988. She later earned a Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the Univesity of Texas in 1992.

The career of Stephanie Wilson - Black American Engineer and NASA Astronaut

After graduating, she worked for a couple of years for the former Martin Marietta Astronautics Group in Denver, Colorado. Whilst there, she worked as a loads and dynamics engineer for the Titan IV rocket.

Stephanie left Martin Marietta to attend the University Texas in 1990. Once she had graduated again, Wilson began working at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California where she remained until joining NASA. 

NASA and Stephanie Wilson - Black American Engineer and NASA Astronaut

Stephanie was selected by the NASA Astronaut Program in April of 1996. Two years later she qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. 

She would fly on no less than three space shuttle missions, STS-121 (2006), STS-120 (2007), and STS-131 (2010). 

Awards and Honors of Stephanie Wilson - Black American Engineer and NASA Astronaut

Stephanie has various awards and honors including The NASA Distinguished Service Medal and NASA Space Fight Medal to name but a few. She has also been given an honorary Doctorate from Williams College.

24. Earl W. Renfroe - Black American (African American) Scientist and Orthodontist

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Billbike/Wikimedia Commons

Earl W. Renfroe, an African America orthodontist, and educator who advocated for racial equality.

Biography (Life) of Earl W. Renfroe - Black American Scientist, and Orthodontist

Earl was born in Chicago on the 9th January 1907. He would later graduate from Austin O. Sexton Gammer School in 1921 and later the Bowen High School in Chicago in 1925.

In 1934, he became the first Black American in Illinois, and the 3rd in the U.S. to obtain a commercial pilot's license.

Renfroe was married to Hilda Forte, who died just one month before Earl on the 13th September 2000. The couple had three children.

Education of Earl W. Renfroe - Black American Scientist and Orthodontist

Whilst at Bowen High School he became the first Black American to attain the rank of Cadet Commander in their Reserve Officers Training Corps.

He also was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Sigma Pi Phi fraternity, Beta Boule, and the Druids societal group.

Earl graduated from the University of Illinois in Chicago first in his class in 1931. He later earned his MS degree in 1942.

The career of Earl W. Renfroe - Black American Scientist and Orthodontist

Earl joined the Illinois National Guard in 1932. He would remain there for many years, eventually attaining the rank of general in 1984

He would teach clinical orthodontics at the University of Ilinois for almost 60 years. During his time he built a reputation for being the best hands-on instructor in the world.

Dr. Renfroe was promoted to associate professor at the UIC College of Dentistry in 1953, and to full professor in 1957.

International Impact of Earl W. Renfroe - Black American Scientist and Orthodontist

During the 1950's, Renfroe traveled abroad to lecture on orthodontics. He would eventually lecture in nine countries including Brazil where he was invited back to several times.

Dr. Renfroe also made 30 trips to Barbados, where a dental facility now is named after him.

Textbooks of Earl W. Renfroe - Black American Scientist and Orthodontist

Renfroe published a landmark textbook, Technique Training in Orthodontics, in 1960. This was required reading for budding dentists in Brazil through the 1960's.

Awards and Honors of Earl W. Renfroe - Black American Scientist and Orthodontist

Earl was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the UIC Dental Alumni Association in 1988. He was also inducted into the Chicago Senior citizens Hall of Fame. 

Death of Earl W. Renfroe - Black American Scientist and Orthodontist

Earl died on the 14th November 2000 and was buried at the Arlington National Cemetry.

25. Lisa P. Jackson - Black American (African American) Chemical Engineer

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Eric Vance/Wikimedia Commons

Lisa Jackson is a Black American chemical engineer who served as the Administrator for the EPA between 2009 and 2013. She is currently the Environmental Director of Apple Inc.

Biography (Life) of Lisa P. Jackson - Black American Chemical Engineer

Lisa was born on the February 8th, 1962 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before being adopted a few weeks later. She would later attend Tulane University with a scholarship from the Shell Oil Company.

Lisa is married to Kenneth Jackson and the couple has two children. The family lives in East Windsor Township, New Jersey. 

She was initiated into the Delta Sigma Theta sorority as an honorary member in 2013.

Education of Lisa P. Jackson - Black American Chemical Engineer

Lisa graduated from Tulane University with a Bachelors of Science in chemical engineering in 1983. She later earned her Masters of Science from Princeton University in 1986.

EPA Career of Lisa P. Jackson - Black American Chemical Engineer

Lisa joined the EPA in 1987 as a staff-level engineer later moving to the New York City regional office. Her career here revolved around developing numerous hazardous waste cleanup regulations and projects.

She would eventually serve as the deputy director and acting director of the regions enforcement division. After a stint at the DEP, Lisa returned to the EPC as the Administrator for the EPA in 2009 and introduced stricter fuel efficiency, air quality and emissions standards on industry. She remained in this role until February 2013 

DEP Career of Lisa P. Jackson - Black American Chemical Engineer

After working with the EPC for 16 years, Lisa joined the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in 2002. She served as the assistant commissioner of compliance and enforcement.

Apple Career of Lisa P. Jackson - Black American Chemical Engineer

In May of 2013, Lisa joined Apple Inc as their Environmental Director.

26. Lloyd Albert Quarterman - Black American (African American) Scientist and Chemist

Lloyd Albert Quarterman was a Black American scientist who is best known for working on the Manhattan Project.

Biography (Life) of Lloyd Albert Quarterman - Black American Scientist and Chemist

Lloyd was born on the 31st May 1918 in Philadelphia. He would develop an interest in chemistry at a young age and would often be seen experimenting with a chemistry set bought for him by his parents.

Education of Lloyd Albert Quarterman - Black American Scientist and Chemist

Lloyd attended St Augustine's College, Raleigh, North Carolina where he earned his bachelors degree in chemistry in 1943.

Manhattan Project and Lloyd Albert Quarterman - Black American Scientist and Chemist

Shortly after graduating, Lloyd was hired to join the top-secret Manhattan Project. This would make him one of the very few Black American scientists who worked there. 

His primary responsibility was to design and build a special distillation system to purify large amounts of hydrogen fluoride. This was needed to separate Uranium isotope U-235 for making the final bombs,

Post-WW2 Career of Lloyd Albert Quarterman - Black American Scientist and Chemist

After the war, Lloyd worked at the newly established Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago, Illinois. Here he assisted in the development of the first nuclear reactor for atomic-powered submarines.

Death of Lloyd Albert Quarterman - Black American Scientist and Chemist

Lloyd died in July of 1982 at the age of 64 in Chicago, Illinois. His body was donated to science for research.

27. Joan Murrell Owens - Black American (African American) Scientist, Marine Biologist, and Educator

Joan Murrel Owens was a Black American marine biologist and educator who specialized in the study of corals.

Biography (Life) of Joan Murrell Owens - Black American Scientist, Marine Biologist, and Educator

Joan was born on the 30th June 1933 in Miami, Florida. She was the youngest of three children.

Her parents encouraged her early fascination with ocean life and supported her ambition to become a marine biologist. Joan's father was an avid fisherman which in no small part helped fuel her interest in ocean life.

Joan suffered from sickle cell anemia which would hamper her later career.

After years of research at the Smithsonian, she would become a professor at the Geology and Geography Department at Howard University in 1986. She transferred to the Biology Department in 1992 and retired in 1995.

Education of Joan Murrell Owens - Black American Scientist, Marine Biologist, and Educator

Joan won two scholarships to the Fisk University in 1950 which both subsidized her education. Her father covered the rest of her tuition costs. 

Fisk, at the time, didn't offer any marine science courses so Joan studied fine art, graduating in 1954. She also took minors in mathematics and psychology. 

She went on to enroll at the University of Michigan intending on studying commercial art but instead changed to an MS degree in guidance counseling. She graduated in 1956.

After working for few years she returned to University to study a major in Geology with a minor in Zoology at George Washington University in 1970. This was because Washington did not offer marine biology as a degree.

She received her B.S. in Geology in 1973 and her M.S. in 1976. Jean later received her Ph.D. in Geology from George Washington University in 1984.

Research of Joan Murrell Owens - Black American Scientist, Marine Biologist, and Educator

Most of her research was limited to laboratory work given her medical condition. A large percentage of which was conducted that the Smithsonian Institution working with samples from an 1880 British Expedition.

Discoveries of Three New Species of Coral by Joan Murrell Owens - Black American Scientist, Marine Biologist, and Educator

Whilst working at the Smithsonian she described the new genus Rhombopsammia and its two species in 1986. She also added a new species to the genus Letepsammia in 1994, naming L. franki for her husband, Frank A. Owens.

Death of Joan Murrell Owens - Black American Scientist, Marine Biologist, and Educator

Joan died on the 25th May 2011 and she was survived by her sister, her daughters, and granddaughter.

28. Margaret S. Collins - Black American (African American) Black American Scientist, Zoologist, Entomologist and Civil Rights Advocate

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Duckduckstop/Wikimedia Commons

Margaret Collins was a Black American entomologist and a civil rights advocate. She is best known for her co-discovery of the Florida dampwood termite.

Biography (Life) of Margaret S. Collins - Black American Scientist, Zoologist, Entomologist and Civil Rights Advocate

Margaret was born on the 4th September 1922 in Institute, West Virginia. she would prove to be a child prodigy and started college at the age of 14.

Education of Margaret S. Collins - Black American Scientist, Zoologist, Entomologist and Civil Rights Advocate

Margaret earned her Bachelors of Science in Biology from West Virginia State University in 1943. She later earned her Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1950.

This made her the third Black woman zoologist in the United States.

The career of Margaret S. Collins - Black American Scientist, Zoologist, Entomologist and Civil Rights Advocate

Margaret would teach at Florida A&M University as well as Howard University for many years. She did, however, primarily consider herself a field scientist focussing her fieldwork on North and South America.

Between the late 1970s through to 1996, Collins served as a research associate in the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, Department of Entomology. She specialized in termites from the Caribbean.

Research of Margaret S. Collins - Black American Scientist, Zoologist, Entomologist and Civil Rights Advocate

Margaret's research would focus on termites specifically their evolution, tolerance to high temperatures, defensive behaviors, general ecology, taxonomy, and etymology.

Publications of Margaret S. Collins - Black American Scientist, Zoologist, Entomologist and Civil Rights Advocate

Collins made various publications during her career including:

- Science and the Question of Human Equality - 1981.

- Biology of Termites - Water relations in termites chapter  - 1969.

Death of Margaret S. Collins - Black American Scientist, Zoologist, Entomologist and Civil Rights Advocate

Collin's was still performing scientific research when she passed way in the Cayman Islands on the 27th April 1996. She was 76 years old.

29. Benjamin “Ben” Montgomery - Black American (African American) Inventor, Landowner, and Freedman

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Orgsites

Benjamin Montgomery was a Black American inventor, landowner, and freedman. 

Biography (Life) of Benjamin Montgomery - Black American Inventor, Landowner, and Freedman

He was born into slavery in Loudoun County, Virginia in 1837. He was later sold to Joseph Emory Davis in Mississippi. 

He escaped at one point but was recaptured. Joseph would enquire why Ben felt the need to escape and the two men reached a mutual understanding. Davies would soon after appointing Montgomery to run a general store on his plantation. 

Ben would later marry and have a son in 1847

He would later become a freedman, buy his masters plantation, become the first Black American Mississippian official and opened his own general store with his son.

Education of Benjamin Montgomery - Black American Inventor, Landowner, and Freedman

Benjamin was largely self-taught and never received a formal education. He would show interest in a read about land surveyings, flood control, architectural design,  machine repair and steamboat navigation. 

The career of Benjamin Montgomery - Black American Inventor, Landowner and Freedman

Benjamin would run his master's general store on his plantation for a time. Impressed with his abilities, Davis made Ben in charge of the entire plantations purchasing and shipping operations.

Patents of Benjamin Montgomery - Black American Inventor, Landowner, and Freedman - “Steam-Operated Propeller”

Ben would eventually develop a steam-operated propellor to provide propulsion to shallow water boats. Although not a new innovation it was an improvement on an earlier design by John Stevens in 1804 and John Ericsson in 1838.

Being a slave he was unable to file a patent. Joseph attempted to file the patent in his name but was also refused as he was not the actual inventor. 

When Joseph's younger brother Jefferson Davis, become the President of the Confederate States of America this changed. He signed into law the ability for slaves to file for and be awarded patents. 

Joseph freed Ben, who, now a freedman, filed for an won a patent in 1864.

“Davis Bend” and Benjamin Montgomery - Black American Inventor, Landowner, and Freedman

During the height of the civil war, Joseph and his family fled from the approaching Union Army. Benjamin assumed control of and ran the plantation. After the conclusion of the war, Davies sold the plantation to Montgomery.

“Montgomery & Sons” and Benjamin Montgomery - Black American Inventor, Landowner, and Freedman

With his son Isaiah, Montgomery established a general store known as Montgomery & Sons. Montgomery worked towards his lifelong dream of establishing a community for freed slaves.

Death of Benjamin Montgomery - Black American Inventor, Landowner, and Freedman

Benjamin died in 1877.

The legacy of Benjamin Montgomery - Black American Inventor, Landowner, and Freedman

His son, Isaiah, purchased 3.4 km2 of land between the Vicksburg and Memphis railroad lines and established a community for freed slaves. From this community the town of Mound Bayou, Mississippi was founded in 1887.

30. Mary Styles Harris - Black American (African American) Scientist, Biologist, and Geneticist

Mary Styles Harris is a distinguished African America Scientist, Biologist, and Geneticist. She has built a prominent career in health research.

Biography (Life) of Mary Styles Harris - Black American Scientist, Biologist, and Geneticist

Mary was born on the 26th June 1949 in Nashville, Tennessee. Her father was a doctor and his career directly inspired Harris to follow in his footsteps.

Her father, George, died when Mary was only 9 years old. She later enrolled at Jackson High School and was one of the first Black American to do so.

She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and their daughter.

Education of Mary Styles Harris - Black American Scientist, Biologist, and Geneticist

Mary earned her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Lincoln University in 1971. She went on to earn her Ph.D. in Genetics from Cornell University in 1975.

The Career of Mary Styles Harris - Black American Scientist, Biologist, and Geneticist

Mary would hold various positions of authority in organizations as well as Assistant Professorships. She also founded her company, Harris, and Associates in 1987.

Harris would also spend a lot of time as a graduate and medical school teacher and published in various scientific and medical journals.

TV and Radio Appearances of Mary Styles Harris - Black American Scientist, Biologist and Geneticist

Harris has produced television and radio shows. She also hosts a radio show, Journey to Wellness, and has developed a documentary, To My Sisters... A Gift for Life.

Awards of Mary Styles Harris - Black American Scientist, Biologist, and Geneticist

Mary has received various awards including the Science Residency Award from the National Science Foundation and Glamour magazines Outstanding Working Woman Award in 1980.

31. Henry Cecil McBay - Black American (African American) Scientist, Chemist, and Teacher

Henry Cecil McBay was a Black American chemist and teacher.

Biography (Life) of Henry Cecil McBay - Black American Scientist, Chemist, and Teacher

Henry was born in 1914 in Mexia, Texas. His father was a barber who eventually became a funeral director. His mother was a seamstress.

Education of Henry Cecil McBay - Black American Scientist, Chemist, and Teacher

McBay showed a proficiency in mathematics at a young age. This would help him gain admission to Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. He paid for his tuition by working in the dining hall and local post office.

He later earned his B.S. Degree in organic chemistry in 1934. After graduating he immediately took another job at the campus dining hall and later was offered a position in the chemistry laboratory to work on his masters.

Teaching Career of Henry Cecil McBay - Black American Scientist, Chemist, and Teacher

Henry loved nothing more than passing on his love of chemistry to younger minds. He regularly gave demonstrations on how to combine two materials. 

In 1951 he developed a chemistry education program for Liberia for UNESCO.

Honors and Awards of Henry Cecil McBay - Black American Scientist, Chemist, and Teacher

McBay would receive many awards throughout his career including many outstanding teacher awards and the Norton Prize for Excellence in Chemistry Research.

Death of Henry Cecil McBay - Black American Scientist, Chemist, and Teacher

McBay died in Atlanta on the 6th June 1995.

32. Evelyn Boyd Granville - Black American (African American) Scientist and Mathematician

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: History.mcs.st-andrews

Evelyn Bond Granville was the second ever Black American Woman to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics in the United States. She would later work with NASA and became an influential professor.

Biography (Life) of Evelyn Boyd Granville - Black American Scientist and Mathematician

Evelyn was born on the 1st of May, 1924 in Washington D.C. Her father worked various jobs during the great depression and her parents separated when she was very young.

Evelyn enrolled at Smith College in 1941 with funding from a partial scholarship from Phi Delta Kappa and money from her aunt.

Boyd married in 1960 but divorced 7 years later. She remarried again in 1970.

Education of Evelyn Boyd Granville - Black American Scientist and Mathematician

Evelyn graduated from Smith College with a degree in mathematics and physics. She also gained a keen interest in astronomy.

She was later accepted by Yale University and the University of Michigan for a graduate program in mathematics. Evelyn chose the former as they offered financial aid for her studies.

She would earn her doctorate in 1949 from Yale.

The career of Evelyn Boyd Granville - Black American Scientist and Mathematician

After graduating, Evelyn performed research at New York Institute of Mathematics. She later took a teaching job at Fisk University in 1950.

She returned to Washington in 1952 to work at the Diamond Ordnance Fuze Laboratories and 4 years later moved to IBM as a computer programmer.

Evelyn moved again in 1960 to work at the U.S. Space Technology Laboratories. Here she worked on various projects including the Apollo Program. She later took a position as a professor of mathematics at the California State University in 1967 and retired in 1984.

She continued to lecture in her retirement at various institutions including Texas College in Tyler.

Honors and Awards of Evelyn Boyd Granville - Black American Scientist and Mathematician

Evelyn received various awards and honors throughout her career including honorary degrees from Smith College and the Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal from Yale.

34. Ernest Everett Just - Black American (African American) Scientist, Biologist, Academic and Science Writer

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Miranda/Wikimedia Commons

Ernest Everett Just was a pioneering Black American academic, science writer and biologist. He is best known for his work on the physiology of development notably in fertilization.

Biography (Life) of Ernest Everett Just - Black American Scientist, Biologist, Academic and Science Writer

Ernest was born on the 14th August 1883 in South Carolina. His father was a dock builder who later died of alcoholism. His mother, Mary Matthews, would raise him and his sister thereafter as a single mother.

She supported the family by working as a teacher in an African America school in Charleston, she also worked in the phosphate miners in the summer. His mother would later persuade some other families to move to James island to farm. The town they founded, now part of the greater Charleston, was called Maryville in her honor.

He later married in 1912 and had three children but he divorced later in 1939. He would marry again he re-married in France.

Childhood Sickness of Ernest Everett Just - Black American Scientist, Biologist, Academic and Science Writer

Ernest was not a healthy child. He was struck down by typhoid for six weeks but had a hard time recuperating afterward.

His memory was affected and he needed to re-teach himself how to read and write.

Education of Ernest Everett Just - Black American Scientist, Biologist, Academic and Science Writer

Ernest graduated magna cum laude with an honors degree in zoology from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Jersey.  

He was honored as a Rufus Choate scholar for two years and was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

“Omega Psi Phi” and Ernest Everett Just - Black American Scientist, Biologist, Academic and Science Writer

Ernest founded Omega Psi Phi fraternity in November of 1911 with three other Howard students. This was the first All black fraternity on the campus.

The career of Ernest Everett Just - Black American Scientist, Biologist, Academic and Science Writer

Ernest would spend his career studying and developing pioneering techniques in diverse areas of physiology. These included in fertilization, experimental parthenogenesis, cell division, hydration, diversion, dehydration of cells and UV carcinogenic radiation effects on cells.

He was also the editor for three scholarly periodicals. Ernest also became a Julius Rosenwald Fellow in Biology allowing him to work in Europe.

His legacy in science would live on long after his tragic death. 

Publications of Ernest Everett Just - Black American Scientist, Biologist, Academic and Science Writer

Ernest would publish many papers during his time in Europe. This included his seminal work “General Cytology”.

Death of Ernest Everett Just - Scientist, Biologist, Academic and Science Writer

He had been conducting research in France at the time of the German Invasion in 1940.

After spending some time in a POW camp he was rescued by U.S. State Department and returned home in September of 1940. His health had been deteriorating before his imprisonment but accelerated on his return to the U.S.

Ernest died of pancreatic cancer in October of 1941.

35. Hadiyah-Nicole Green - Black American (African American) Scientist and Medical Physicist

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Msm.edu

Hadiyah-Nicole Green is a Black American medical physicist. She is best known for her development of cancer treatment using laser-activated nanoparticles. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

Biography (Life) of Hadiyah-Nicole Green - Black American Scientist and Medical Physicist

Hadiyah was orphaned at a young age and raised by her aunt and uncle in St. Louis, Missouri.  She would later become the first of her family to attend college.

She would later attend Alabama A & M University and then the University of Alabama before now working at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

Education of Hadiyah-Nicole Green - Black American Scientist and Medical Physicist

Hadiyah graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physics and optics in 2003 from Alabama A & M University. She continued her studies at the University of Alabama, Birmingham where she earned her Master of Science in Physics in 2009 and her Ph.D. in Physics in 2012.

The career of Hadiyah-Nicole Green - Black American Scientist and Medical Physicist

Greene became an assistant professor at the Department of Material Science and Engineering and Tuskegee University after graduating. Later, in 2016, she became the assistant professor at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

Research of Hadiyah-Nicole Green - Black American Scientist and Medical Physicist

Hadiyah was awarded a $1.1 Million grant from the Veterans Affairs Office of R and D to start clinical trials on her laser nanoparticle treatment.

Mentoring Black Students and Hadiyah-Nicole Green - Black American Scientist and Medical Physicist

Green dedicates what free time she has to mentor and speak to young black students.

36. James Andrew Harris - Black American (African American) Scientist and Nuclear Chemist

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Lbl.gov

James Andrew Harris is the first Black American chemist who helped discover elements 104 and 105.

“First African-American to involve in the discovery of new elements”

James helped co-discover elements 104 – Rutherfordium, and 105 - Dubnium. Unlike his colleagues, did not have a Ph.D. when he did so. This made him the first Black American to be involved in a major new-element ID program.

Biography (Life) of James Andrew Harris - Black American Scientist and Nuclear Chemist

James was born in Waco, Texas on March 26th, 1932. His parents divorced when he was young and he was raised by his mother.

He later attended a high school in Oakland before attending University.

James later married and had five children. He was a devoted father.

Education of James Andrew Harris - Black American Scientist and Nuclear Chemist

James graduated from Huston-Tillotson College, Austin with a B.Sc. in chemistry in 1953.

The career of James Andrew Harris - Black American Scientist and Nuclear Chemist

James would find some difficulty finding a job after graduation but his persistence paid off. In 1955, he joined Tracerlab in Richmond, California. Later, in 1960, he accepted a position at the Lawrence Radiation Lab at the University of California.

Controversies with Russian Scientists About the Discoveries and James Andrew Harris - Black American Scientist and Nuclear Chemist

Both elements 104 and 105 were also discovered by a Russian team in the later 1960’s let by George Flerov. The Russians gave the elements different names.

Albert Ghiorso, who led Harris’s team, would dispute the Russian claims. Eventually, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (UPAC) accepted both claims and ruled over the current naming of both elements.

Further Search for Other Super-Heavy Elements and James Andrew Harris - Black American Scientist and Nuclear Chemist

After the discovery of elements 104 and 105, Harris and the UOC team continued to search for other super-heavy elements. It was hoped, once found, they might be beneficial to medicine, energy production and other fields of science.

Death of James Andrew Harris - Black American Scientist and Nuclear Chemist

James died on December 12th, 2000.

37. Reatha Clark King - Black American (African American) Scientist, Chemist, and Businesswoman

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Flickr/Wikimedia Commons

Reatha Clark King is a Black American chemist and corporate executive.

Biography (Life) of Reatha Clark King - Black American Scientist, Chemist and Businesswoman

Reatha was born on the 11th April 1938 in Pavo, Georgia. After her parents separated her mother moved the family to Moultrie, Georgia.

Her family was relatively poor and she would help them in the cotton fields during her childhood. She would later be educated in a one-room schoolhouse, and excel.

King would later win a scholarship to Clark College in Atlanta and go on to have a varied and fruitful career.

She is married and is a mother two children.

Education of Reatha Clark King - Black American Scientist, Chemist and Businesswoman

Reatha graduated from Clark College, Atlanta in 1958 with a bachelors degree in chemistry and mathematics. She would later also earn a masters and then a Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1960 and 1963.

Reatha also earned an MBA before leaving academia to join the private sector.

Scientific Career of Reatha Clark King - Black American Scientist, Chemist and Businesswoman

Reatha joined the Bureau of Standards after her Ph.D. This made her the first Black American chemist to do so.

Academic Career of Reatha Clark King - Black American Scientist, Chemist and Businesswoman

After moving to New York City in 1968, Reatha became an assistant professor at York College. She then became associate Dean in 1970 for the Natural Science and Mathematics Division. King also became the assistant dean for Academic Affairs in 1974.

In 1977, King became the second President of the Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis.

Business Career of Reatha Clark King - Black American Scientist, Chemist and Businesswoman

Raetha left The Metropolitan State University after 11 years of service to accept a position as Executive Director of General Mills Corporation. She would retire in 2002.

Board Memberships of Reatha Clark King - Black American Scientist, Chemist and Businesswoman

From 1979, Raetha has served on a large number of corporate and non-profit boards. These have included Exxon Mobil, H .B. Fuller Company, and Wells Fargo to name but a few.

Honors and Awards of Reatha Clark King - Black American Scientist, Chemist and Businesswoman

King has been the recipient of many awards and honors throughout her career. These have included the National Association of Corporate Directors of the Year, and the Defender of Democracy Award from the Washington, DC.

She has also received 14 honorary degrees.

38. Lloyd Hall - Black American (African American) Inventor, Scientist and Chemist

Lloyd Hall was a Black American inventor, chemist, and scientist. He is best known for his work on food preservation techniques.

Biography (Life) of Lloyd Hall - Black American Inventor, Scientist, and Chemist

Lloyd was born on the 20th June 1894 in Elgin, Illinois. He would later be an honor student at West Side High School, Aurora.

Here he captained the school debate team and was heavily involved in sports.

Lloyd would later marry.

Education of Lloyd Hall - Black American Inventor, Scientist, and Chemist

Lloyd graduated from the Northwestern University with a B.Sc. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry in 1916.

Western Electric Company and Lloyd Hall - Black American Inventor, Scientist and Chemist

Soon after graduating, Hall was hired by the Western Electric Company. His interview was by telephone but he was quickly dismissed when he turned up on his first day of work. The company’s personnel officer took offense to Lloyd’s skin color.

The career of Lloyd Hall - Black American Inventor, Scientist, and Chemist

Lloyd began working for the Chicago Department of Health as a chemist in 1917. In 1918 he moved to Ottumwa, Iowa where he worked as the chief chemist at the John Morrell Company.

Around this time he also worked as Chief Inspector of Powder and Explosives for the U.S. Ordnance Department during WW1.

Lloyd moved to Chicago where Lloyd began working at the Boyer Chemical Laboratory. Here he worked on the new industry of food chemistry. He later moved to the Chemical Products Corporation and then for his friend’s Griffith Laboratories as chief chemist and director of research.

Food Science and Lloyd Hall - Black American Inventor, Scientist, and Chemist

At Griffith’s Laboratories, Lloyd began researching ways of preserving foods. Up to this point, salt was the main preservative used, especially for meats. Nitrogen-based chemicals were also used but these tended to adversely damage the meat.

Hall developed a method of enclosing nitrates and nitrites within a salt “shell” to help preserve food and ‘cure; the meat without affecting its quality.

He would later develop means of improving preservation of meats stored in containers and developed a means of sterilizing foods, utensils, and tools.

Contributions of Lloyd Hall - Black American Inventor, Scientist, and Chemist

Hall’s contributions’ revolutionized food preservation, sterilization, preparation, and transportation. He, in no small part, helped improve the efficiency and profitability of food suppliers.

Hall published 5 scientific reports on his findings and received more than 100 patents.

Death of Lloyd Hall - Black American Inventor, Scientist, and Chemist

Hall died in 1971 after retiring from Griffith’s Laboratories in 1959.

39.  Marguerite Williams - Black American (African American) Scientist and Geologist

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Blackpast

Marguerite Williams was the first Black American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Geology.

Biography (Life) of Marguerite Williams - Black American Scientist and Geologist

Marguerite was born in 1895 in Washington D.C.

Education of Marguerite Williams - Black American Scientist and Geologist

Williams earned her B.Sc. in Geology from Howard University in 1923. She later studied and earned her masters at Columbia University in 1930.

Williams would wait another decade before completing her Ph.D.  in Geology from Catholic University in 1942.

Dissertation of Marguerite Williams - Black American Scientist and Geologist

Her Ph.D. dissertation was entitled “The Study of the History of Erosion in the Anacostia Drainage Basin”. This was a study on a local geological feature.

The career of Marguerite Williams - Black American Scientist and Geologist

Williams worked as an assistant professor at Miner Teacher’s College in Washington D.C.

She also served as the chair of the Division of Geography between 1923 and 1933.

After her masters, she continued working at Miner Teacher’s college until completing her Ph.D. Williams. She was promoted to full professor at Miner soon after.

Williams continued teaching classes in geography and social sciences, including night classes, until her retirement in 1955.

Death of Marguerite Williams - Black American Scientist and Geologist

Marguerite died in 1991.

40. George Franklin Grant - Black American (African American) Inventor, Academic, and Dentist

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Richard Arthur/WikimediaCommons

George Franklin Grant was an African America dentist, academic, and inventor. He is famed for being the first Black American professor at Harvard.

Biography (Life) of George Franklin Grant - Black American Inventor, Academic, and Dentist

George was born in September of 1846 in Oswego, New York. His parents were former slaves. He would graduate from Harvard and later work there.

George later became the President of the Harvard Dental Association.

Education of George Franklin Grant - Black American Inventor, Academic, and Dentist

George earned his degree in dentistry in 1870 from Harvard University.

The career of George Franklin Grant - Black American Inventor, Academic, and Dentist

At the age of 15, George was hired by the local dentist as an errand boy. Later he became a lab assistant and the dentist encouraged him to pursue a career in dentistry.

In 1868, he and a friend became the first blacks to enroll at Harvard. After graduating he became the first Black American faculty member of the University. He stayed at Harvard for another 19 years.

George specialized in treating congenital cleft palates. By 1889 he had successfully treated over 115 cases.

“Harvard Odontological Society” and George Franklin Grant - Black American Inventor, Academic, and Dentist

George helped found the Harvard Odontological Society in 1881.

Patents of George Franklin Grant - Black American Inventor, Academic, and Dentist - “Improvements on Percy Ellis’ ‘Perfectum’ Golf Tee”

Grant patented the oblate palate. This was a prosthetic device allowing patients to speak normally.

George loved to play gold and in 1899 he patented his ‘Perfectum’ gold tee. This was made from whittled wood capped with gutta-percha latex resin more commonly used during root canal surgery.

Death of George Franklin Grant - Black American Inventor, Academic, and Dentist

George died in 1910 from liver disease.

41. Ruth Ella Moore - Black American (African American) Scientist and Bacteriologist

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: American Society for Microbiology/Wikimedia Commons

Ruth Ella Moore was a bacteriologist and the first Black American to be awarded a Ph.D. in natural science.

Biography (Life) of Ruth Ella Moore - Black American Scientist and Bacteriologist

Ruth was born in May of 1903 in Columbus, Ohio. She would later become the head of the Bacteriology Department at Howard University.

Her life was dedicated to the study of tuberculosis, immunology and blood groups in Black Americans.

Education of Ruth Ella Moore - Black American Scientist and Bacteriologist

Ruth earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 1926 and her master’s degree in 1927 from Ohio State University. She later earned her Ph.D. in Bacteriology in 1933.

Dissertation of Ruth Ella Moore - Black American Scientist and Bacteriologist

Her Ph.D. dissertation(s) was entitled "Studies on Dissociation of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis" and "A New Method of Concentration on the Tubercule Bacilli as Applied to Sputum And Urine Examination".

These were both studies on the Tuberculosis bacteria.

The career of Ruth Ella Moore - Black American Scientist and Bacteriologist

Ruth taught hygiene and English at Tennessee State College whilst an undergraduate. She joined Howard University College in 1939 as Assistant Professor of Bacteriology.

In 1948, she was appointed and became Head of the Department of Bacteriology in 1955. Later she became Associate Professor of Microbiology.

She retired in 1973 and held a position as Emeritus Professor of Microbiology.

Death of Ruth Ella Moore - Black American Scientist and Bacteriologist

Ruth died in Rockville, Maryland in 1994. She was 91 years old.

42. Emmett Chappelle - Black American (African American) Scientist

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: NASA

Emmett Chappelle is a Black American biochemist who has made significant advancements in medicine, food science, and Astrochemistry.

Biography (Life) of Emmett Chappelle – Black American Scientist

Emmett was born on the 24th October 1925 in Pheonix, Arizona. He grew up on a small farmstead on the edge of Pheonix.

He was later drafted into the U.S. Army after graduating from High School in 1942. After some training in engineering,  he was reassigned to the all-black 92nd Infantry Division and posted in Italy.

After a fruitful scientific career and some time at NASA, he retired in 2001.

Emmett currently lives with his daughter and son-in-law in Baltimore.

Education of Emmett Chappelle – Black American Scientist

Emmett received his B.Sc. in Biology from the University of California in 1950. He later earned his Master’s degree in Biology in 1954 from the University of Washington.

Chappelle continued his studies at Stanford University and completed his Ph.D. in 1958.

The Career of Emmett Chappelle – Black American Scientist

After graduating, Emmett served as an instructor at the Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee between 1950 and 1953.

After earning his Ph.D. Emmett joined the Research Institute for Advanced Studies at Baltimore. He later joined Hazelton Laboratories in 1963.

NASA and Emmett Chappelle – Black American Scientist

Emmett joined NASA in 1966 as part of the Goddard Space Flight Center. Here his work focused on luminescence.

He was involved in various projects including the Viking Spacecraft.

Emmett retired from NASA in 2001.

Contributions of Emmett Chappelle – Black American Scientist

During his research at NASA, Emmett was able to develop means of detecting life on Mars and improve environmental management.

Publications of Emmett Chappelle - Black American Scientist

Emmett created more than 35% of peer-reviewed papers scientific or technical publications, nearly fifty conference papers, and co-authored or edited numerous publications in his field.

Patents of Emmett Chappelle – Black American Scientist

Chappelle received 14 patents throughout his career.

Honors of Emmett Chappelle – Black American Scientist

Emmett had been honored as one of the Top 100 Black American scientists and engineers of the 20th Century. He also received the Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal from NASA.

He was also inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2007.

43. Alma Levant Hayden - Black American (African American) Scientist and Chemist

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: NIH/Wikimedia Commons

Alma Levant Hayden was a Black American chemist who was one of the first women to gain a scientific position at a science agency in Washington D.C.

Biography (Life) of Alma Levant Hayden - Black American Scientist and Chemist

Alma was born on the 30th March 1927 in Greenville, South Carolina. She had originally planned to be a nurse but later found she quite liked chemistry.

Hayden later met and married Alonzo R. Hayden. The couple had two children.

Education of Alma Levant Hayden - Black American Scientist and Chemist

Hayden graduated from South Carolina State College with a Bachelors Degree in Chemistry in 1947. She later gained her master’s degree in Chemistry from Howard University.

The career of Alma Levant Hayden - Black American Scientist and Chemist

Alma, after graduating, joined the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases. She later moved to the FDA in the mid-1950’s.

This is widely accepted to be the first official position of employment given to a Black American at the agency.

“Krebiozen” and Alma Levant Hayden - Black American Scientist and Chemist

At the height of the Thalidomide tragedy in 1962, the FDA’s role in drug safety was increased. With provisions for Thalidomide in place, the FDA turned its attention to Krebiozen, a new and expensive cancer treating drug.

Hayden and her team were able to find that Krebiozen was, in fact, a common substance, creatine. This has no effect on cancer in animals. Hayden backed up with analysis from MIT, announced the discovery.

She also testified at the lengthy criminal trial of the promoters of Krebiozen.

Publications of Alma Levant Hayden - Black American Scientist and Chemist

Alma published several scientific papers throughout her career.

Death of Alma Levant Hayden - Black American Scientist and Chemist

Alma died on the 2nd August 1967. She was survived by her husband and children. Alonzo died in 1993.

44. Guion Bluford - Black American (African American) Scientist and Aerospace Engineer

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: NASA

Guion Bluford is a Black American aerospace engineer, retired Air Force pilot and former NASA astronaut.

“First Black American in space”

Guion is best known as the being the First Black American in space when participating in four Space Shuttle missions between 1983 and 1992.

Biography (Life) of Guion Bluford - Black American Scientist and Aerospace Engineer

Guion was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the 22nd November 1942. Guion would go on to become a USAF combat pilot who would see action in Vietnam.

He would later become a flight instructor, join NASA and fly on no less than 4 Space Shuttle missions.

Bluford married in 1964 and the couple had two children.

Education of Guion Bluford - Black American Scientist and Aerospace Engineer

Guion graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1964 with a B.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering. He later completed a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology in 1974.

Bluford later completed a Ph.D. in 1978 from AFIT in Aerospace Engineering and Laser Physics. He also earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston-Clear Lake in 1987.

U.S. Air Force and Guion Bluford - Black American Scientist and Aerospace Engineer

Guion began his pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, receiving his wings in 1966. He was later transferred to the 557th Tactical Fighter Squadron and flew 144 combat missions in various theatres including North Vietnam.

He would later become an instructor at Sheppard Air Force Base in the late 1960’s. Bluford then trained as an officer in 1971.

After his master’s degree, he conducted research into Aerodynamics and fluid mechanics at the Air Force Dynamics Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

NASA Career of Guion Bluford - Black American Scientist and Aerospace Engineer

Guion was selected by NASA in 1979 for their astronaut program. His first mission was STS-8 that launched from Kennedy Space Centre in 1983.

Bluford would go on to be a crew member of another three Space Shuttle Missions: STS-61-A, STS-39, and STS-53.

Post-NASA Career of Guion Bluford - Black American Scientist and Aerospace Engineer

Bluford left NASA and retired in 1993. Post-NASA he took up the post of Vice President/General Manager of the Engineering Services Division of NYMA, Maryland.

He has since served in leadership roles for Federal Data Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Aerospace Technologies Group.

Memberships of Guion Bluford - Black American Scientist and Aerospace Engineer

Guion has been a member of many organizations including as a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the National Research Council to name but a few.

Honors and Awards of Guion Bluford - Black American Scientist and Aerospace Engineer

Bluford would receive many awards and honors throughout his life. These included many military medals as well as entry into various halls of fame.

45. Ruth Smith Lloyd - Black American (African American) Scientist and Anatomist

Ruth Smith Lloyd was the first Black American Woman to acquire a Doctorate in Anatomy in the U.S.

Biography (Life) of Ruth Smith Lloyd - Black American Scientist and Anatomist

Ruth was born on the 17th January 1917. Her father was a Pullman porter and her moth a US Treasury clerk.

She was youngest of three sisters. She would later attend Dunbar High School before going to Mount Holyoke College.

Ruth married in December of 1939 a physician from Howard University. Her husband, Sterling, died in 1980.

The couple had three children and eight grandchildren. Ruth was an active member of her local church in her retirement.

She also founded the National Museum of Women in the Arts in 1987. Lloyd was also a member of the social and service organization, Girl Friends.

Education of Ruth Smith Lloyd - Black American Scientist and Anatomist

Ruth graduated from Howard University with her Bachelors of Arts degree in Zoology in 1941. Between 1937 and 1938 Ruth studied for an acquired her master’s degree in Zoology at Howard University. At Howard, she was taught by Ernest Everett Just.

Studying the fertility of macaque monkeys at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio she received her Ph.D. in 1941.

The career of Ruth Smith Lloyd - Black American Scientist and Anatomist

Ruth taught at Hampton Institute, Virginia between 1941 and 1942. She then joined the medical staff at Howard University in 1942.

At Howard, she primarily focussed her lectures on physiology and anatomy and achieved the position of Associate Professor in 1955. She stayed at Howard until her retirement in 1977.

Research of Ruth Smith Lloyd - Black American Scientist and Anatomist

Ruth’s research primarily focussed on endocrinology, sex-related hormones, and medical genetics.

Death of Ruth Smith Lloyd - Black American Scientist and Anatomist

Lloyd passed away in February of 1955 after succumbing to cancer.

46. Leland D. Melvin - Black American (African American) Scientist, Engineer, and Former NASA Astronaut

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: NASA/Wikimedia Commons

Leland Devon Melvin is a Black American engineer and former NASA astronaut.

Biography (Life) of Leland D. Melvin - Black American Scientist, Engineer, and Former NASA Astronaut

Leland was born on the 15th February 1964 in Lynchburg, Virginia. After attending Heritage High School he enrolled at the University of Richmond on a Football scholarship.

After a failed football career, Leland would work for NASA and become an astronaut.

Once retired from NASA, Melvin made appearances in some TV programs like Top Chef and the Dog Whisperer.

He is also the president of the Spaceship Earth Grants. This is a public benefits corporation dedicated to making space more accessible to the public.

Leland never married.

Education of Leland D. Melvin - Black American Scientist, Engineer, and Former NASA Astronaut

Melvin graduated from the University of Richmond with a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1986. He went on to complete a master’s in Materials Science Engineering for the University of Virginia in 1991.

Football Career of Leland D. Melvin - Black American Scientist, Engineer, and Former NASA Astronaut

Leland stared his American Football career at the University of Richmond’s team between 1982 and 1985. Melvin was selected by the Detroit Lions during the 11th round of the 1986 NFL draft as a wide receiver.

Pulling a hamstring during training he was released from the team. He was later chosen by the Dallas Cowboys but pulled his hamstring a second time, officially ending his Football career.

NASA Career of Leland D. Melvin - Black American Scientist, Engineer, and Former NASA Astronaut

Leland joined the Nondestructive Evaluation Sciences Branch at NASA’s Langley Center in 1989. He worked there for almost a decade before being selected as an astronaut in 1998.

Space Shuttle Atlantis and Leland D. Melvin - Black American Scientist, Engineer, and Former NASA Astronaut

Melvin would fly two Space Shuttle missions for NASA on the shuttle Atlantis during missions STS-122 and STS-129. The former was the 24th shuttle mission to visit the ISS.

After his second and final mission, STS-129, Melvin has clocked up over 565 hours in space. He retired from NASA in February of 2014.

47. Margaret E. M. Tolbert - Black American (African American) Scientist and Biochemist

Margaret Ellen Mayo Tolbert is a Black American biochemist. She became the first Black American Woman to be in charge of the Department of Energy Lab.

Biography (Life) of Margaret E. M. Tolbert - Black American Scientist and Biochemist

Margaret was born on November 24th, 1943 in Suffolk, Virginia. She was very young and her grandmother brought up Margaret and her siblings. After her grandmother’s health declined he eldest sister took the role of the head of the family.

Margaret would walk two miles to school every day and was top of her class. Whilst at High school she also worked as a maid to help pay the family bills.

Later a well-off Black American couple, who she worked for, supported and encouraged her to attend university.

She married for a time and had a son. She would marry again after her Ph.D.

Education of Margaret E. M. Tolbert - Black American Scientist and Biochemist

Margaret graduated with a B.Sc. in 1967. She later earned her master’s in analytical chemistry from Wayne State University in 1968.

Margaret earned her doctorate, in 1973, in biochemistry from Brown University.

The career of Margaret E. M. Tolbert - Black American Scientist and Biochemist

Post-doctorate, Margaret worked at Tuskegee University as a faculty member and chemistry researcher. She also taught at Florida A & M University between 1973 and 1976.

She also served as the Associate Dean at Florida A & M.

For a short period, she performed some research in Brussels, Belgium in 1979 before returning to Tuskegee the same year.

In 1987, she joined the research department of British Petroleum. She would later accept a position as Division Director at Argonne National Laboratory. In 1996 she resigned and became Director of the New Brunswick Laboratory, a position she stayed in until 2002.

In September of 2002, Tolbert became the Senior Advisor to promote the activities of the National Science Foundation until she retired in 2011.

Honors of Margaret E. M. Tolbert - Black American Scientist and Biochemist

Margaret has received a good number of awards and honors during her life. These include her election as a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1998.

48. Robert Curbeam - Black American (African American) Scientist and Former NASA Astronaut

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: NASA

Robert Curbeam is a former Black American NASA astronaut and scientist.

Biography (Life) of Robert Curbeam - Black American Scientist and Former NASA Astronaut

Robert was born on the 5th of March, 1962 in Baltimore, Maryland.

He is married and has two children. Robert enjoys weightlifting, backpacking, and sports.

Education of Robert Curbeam - Black American Scientist and Former NASA Astronaut

Robert received his Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy in 1984. In 1990, Robert earned his masters in Aeronautical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Curbeam also earned a Degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1991.

Naval Career of Robert Curbeam - Black American Scientist and Former NASA Astronaut

After graduating from the Naval Academy in 1984, Curbeam commenced his Naval Flight Officer Training. After earning his wings he was assigned to Fighter Squadron 11 aboard the USS Forrestal.

During his tour on VF-11, he also attended the Navy Fighter Weapons School, famously known as Topgun.

After completing Topgun, Robert returned to the U.S. Naval Academy as an instructor.

NASA Career of Robert Curbeam - Black American Scientist and Former NASA Astronaut

He was selected by NASA in 1994 and completed his training in 1997. Robert took part in two Space Shuttle Missions, STS-85 in 1997 and STS-98 in 2001.

Curbeam clocked up 593 hours in space and retired from NASA in 2007 to join the private sector.

Honors and Awards of Robert Curbeam - Black American Scientist and Former NASA Astronaut

Robert received various honors and awards throughout his career including:

Fighter One Radar Intercept Officer of the Year in 1989 and U.S. Naval Test Pilot Scholl Best Developmental Thesis (DT-11) Award.

49. Patricia S. Cowings - Black American (African American) Scientist and Aerospace Psychophysiologist

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: NASA

Patricia S. Cowings is a specialist scientist who was the first Black American to be trained as an astronaut.

Biography (Life) of Patricia S. Cowings - Black American Scientist and Aerospace Psychophysiologist

Cowings was born on the 15th December 1948 in The Bronx, New York. The daughter of the preschool teacher and a grocer she was one of four children.

Her parents instilled into her the importance of education as a way of “getting out” of the Bronx.

Education of Patricia S. Cowings - Black American Scientist and Aerospace Psychophysiologist

Cowings earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of New York-Stony Brook. She later earned her master’s in Psychology from the University of California, Davis

Cowings later earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in 1979.

The career of Patricia S. Cowings - Black American Scientist and Aerospace Psychophysiologist

Patricia joined NASA in 1971 through their graduate program on a fellowship where she has remained ever since.

Research of Patricia S. Cowings - Black American Scientist and Aerospace Psychophysiologist

At NASA Patricia has been the principal investigator on various studies. Most of these have involved the Autogenetic-Feedback Training Exercise (AFTE) – a treatment for space motion sickness that she developed and patented.

AFTE teaches budding astronauts to control up to 20 physiological responses from heart rate to involuntary muscle contractions.

Honors and Awards of Patricia S. Cowings - Black American Scientist and Aerospace Psychophysiologist

Cowings received various awards and honors throughout her career, including the NASA Individual Achievement Award in 1993 and the National Women of Color Technology Award in 2006, to name but a few.

50. Harold L. Martin - Black American (African American) Engineer and Educator

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Flickr/Wikimedia Commons

Harold L. Martin is a Black American engineer, educator and Chancellor of Winston-Salem State and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Martin is the first alumnus in North Carolina A & T’s history to hold this position.

Biography (Life) of Harold L. Martin - Black American Engineer and Educator

Harold was born on the 22nd October 1951 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Martin married and has two sons. Martin is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

Education of Harold L. Martin - Black American Engineer and Educator

Harold earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from the North Carolina A & T. He later won his doctoral degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech in 1980.

The career of Harold L. Martin - Black American Engineer and Educator

Harold’s career started alma mater at North Carolina A & T. He worked in various roles within the schools’ electrical engineering department. He later served as the department’s dean from 1989 to 1994.

Harold was later appointed the Vice Chancellor for academic affairs of the university between 1994 and 1999. He became the chancellor of Winston-State University in 2000 to 2006.

In 2006 he became the Senior Vice President for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina. In 2009 he was elected as the 12th Chancellor of North Carolina A & T State University, a position in which he still serves.

This made him the first alumnus to do so.

Honors and Awards of Harold L. Martin - Black American Engineer and Educator

Harold has received various awards and honors throughout his career. These have included his inclusion in the Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities in 1974. He has also received honorary degrees from Wake Forest University, to name but a few.

51. Ann T. Nelms - Black American (African American) Scientist and Nuclear Physicist

Ann T. Nelms is an influential Black American Nuclear Physicist. She is best known for her study of the persistence of nuclear radioactivity often cited in reports on nuclear fallout.

Biography (Life) of Ann T. Nelms - Black American Scientist and Nuclear Physicist

Ann. was born in 1929 in Waycross, Georgia.

Since 1954 she has lived in Washington D.C. with her husband and child.

The career of Ann T. Nelms - Black American Scientist and Nuclear Physicist

Ann worked as a nuclear physicist for the National Bureau of Standards in the 1950’s. Throughout her career, she has collaborated with many other prominent scientists like Ugo Fano and J W Cooper.

Publications of Ann T. Nelms - Black American Scientist and Nuclear Physicist

Nelms has published various studies including:

- “Graphs of the Compton Energy-Angle Relationship and the Klein Nishina Formula from 10 Kev to 500 Kev” in 1953 and;

- “U235 Fission Product Decay Spectra at Various Times after Fission” in 1957.

52. Garrett Morgan - Black American (African American) Inventor, Entrepreneur, and Community Leader

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Clevelander96/Wikimedia Commons

Garrett Morgan was a Black American inventor and community leader. He famously rescued workers trapped within a water intake tunnel in 1916 and was a prolific inventor.

Biography (Life) of Garrett Morgan - Black American Inventor, Entrepreneur and Community Leader

Garrett was born in Claysville on the 4th March 1877. Claysville was an African-American community just outside of Paris, Kentucky. His parents were former slaves. He had at least one brother.

Morgan moved to Cincinnati in search of work.

Garrett married in 1896 but the marriage ended in divorce. He re-married in 1908 and the couple had three sons.

Education of Garrett Morgan - Black American Inventor, Entrepreneur and Community Leader

Garrett progressed no further than a sixth-grade education.

The career of Garrett Morgan - Black American Inventor, Entrepreneur and Community Leader

Most of his teenagehood was spent working as a handyman. He moved to Cincinnati and later to Cleveland, Ohio in 1895.

Whilst repairing sewing machines inspired him to make his first invention, a belt fastener for sewing machines. In 1907 he opened his own sewing machine and shoe repair shop. This would grow and expand into the Morgan’s Cut Rate Ladies Clothing Store in 1909 which had 32 employees.

By 1910 he had lost interest in fixing other peoples sewing machines and dedicated himself to the invention. In 1912, he made his first patent with his “Smoke Hood” that would become the blueprint for WW1 gas masks.

In 1913, he developed hair care products and launched the G. A. Morgan Hair Refining Company to sell them.

He later developed glaucoma in 1943 and became blind. Despite this, he continued to work and one of his last inventions was the self-extinguishing cigarette.

Lake Erie Tunnel Explosion and Garrett Morgan - Black American Inventor, Entrepreneur, and Community Leader

In 1916, workers hit a pocket of natural gas whilst drilling a new tunnel under Lake Erie. The resulting explosion trapped many workers. Garrett and his brother used breathing devices to rescue two workers and recover four bodies before the rescue effort was shut down.

Community Leadership of Garrett Morgan - Black American Inventor, Entrepreneur and Community Leader

In 1908, Garrett founded the Cleveland Association of Colored Men to help improve the economic and social conditions of the black community.

He later founded the Cleveland Call Newspaper in 1916 that later became the Cleveland Call and Post Newspaper. Garrett became a member of the Prince Hall Freemason fraternity which was a mainly black lodge.

Morgan helped found an all-black-member country club in 1920 and ran for office in 1931 for a Cleveland City Council seat.

Death of Garrett Morgan - Black American Inventor, Entrepreneur and Community Leader

Garrett died on the 27th July 1963, aged 86. He is buried at the Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland.

54. Njema Frazier - Black American (African American) Scientist and Nuclear Physicist

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Energy.gov

Njema Frazier is an African America Physicist who is the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administrations in Washington D.C.

Biography (Life) of Njema Frazier - Black American Scientist and Nuclear Physicist

She currently lives in Maryland but she is a native of San Francisco, California.

Education of Njema Frazier - Black American Scientist and Nuclear Physicist

Frazier graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a bachelor’s degree in physics. She later earned her Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics from Michigan State University.

The career of Njema Frazier - Black American Scientist and Nuclear Physicist

Njema spent three years as a visiting Professor at the National Defence University, Washington D.C. She also spent four years as a Professional Staff Member to the U.S. House of Representatives.

She now serves as the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administrations in Washington D.C.

“POWER” and Njema Frazier - Black American Scientist and Nuclear Physicist

Njema is the co-founder of the Professional Opportunities for Women at Energy Realized (POWER) Employee Resource Group at the Department of Energy. This group advocates for stronger diversity and inclusion in the workplace and classroom.

Honors and Awards of Njema Frazier - Black American Scientist and Nuclear Physicist

Frazier has received various awards and honors throughout her career including the DOD Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award to name but a few.

She has also been featured on the EBONY Power 100 list, Grio’s list of 100 History Maker in the Making and many more.

55. Thomas L. Jennings - Black American (African American) Inventor, Tradesman and Abolitionist

Thomas L. Jennings was a Black American tradesman, inventor, and abolitionist.

Biography (Life) of Thomas L. Jennings - Black American Inventor, Tradesman, and Abolitionist

Thomas was born in 1791 as a freeman to a freed Black American family in New York City. He learned a trade and built his own tailor business before marrying.

His wife was born into slavery but was granted indentured servant status under New York’s gradual abolition law of 1799.

At this time children born to slave mothers after 1827 were considered to be born free but had to serve as apprentices to their mother’s masters until their mid-20’s.

The couple had three children.

The career of Thomas L. Jennings - Black American Inventor, Tradesman, and Abolitionist

Jennings learned and practiced the trade of a tailor in his youth. He also provided dry-cleaning services to his clients.

He quickly built a business as a tailor and dry cleaner and was well respected in his community. His early business earning was used to buy his wife’s freedom and that of their children born before 1827.

Inventions of Thomas L. Jennings - Black American Inventor, Tradesman, and Abolitionist - “Dry Scouring”

Thomas developed a means of clearing clothes called “dry scouring” for which he received a patent in 1821.

Civil Rights Activism and Thomas L. Jennings - Black American Inventor, Tradesman, and Abolitionist

Thomas, given his wife’s and his daughter’s experiences at the time, was a strong advocate for the abolitionist movement.

He was an active member of the civil rights movement for freeing Black Americans and on issues relating to emigration. Jennings also opposed the colonization of Africa.

Death of Thomas L. Jennings - Black American Inventor, Tradesman, and Abolitionist

Thomas died on the 12th February 1856 in New York City.

56. Fatimah Jackson - Black American (African American) Scientist, Biologist, and Anthropologist

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Howard.edu

Fatimah Jackson is a Black American biologist and anthropologist.

Education of Fatimah Jackson - Black American Scientist, Biologist, and Anthropologist

Fatimah earned her BA degree from Cornell University in 1972. She later earned her master’s degree in 1978 also from Cornell and later won her Ph.D. in 1981.

The career of Fatimah Jackson - Black American Scientist, Biologist, and Anthropologist

Fatimah worked for as Professor of biological anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She currently lectures at Howard University in Washington D.C.

She has also become Emeritus Professor of the applied biological anthology at the University of Maryland.

Research of Fatimah Jackson - Black American Scientist, Biologist and Anthropologist

Fatimah’s research is focussed on:

  • Genetic variation in peoples of African descent
  • Human-plant co-evolution
  • Gene-environment interactions in chronic disease

Honors and Awards of Fatimah Jackson - Black American Scientist, Biologist, and Anthropologist

Fatimah has been the recipient of the Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award from the University of Maryland in 1995. Her research has also featured in the PBS program Black American Lives as well as the BBC’s Motherland.

57. Alfred L. Cralle - Black American (African American) Inventor and Businessman

Alfred L. Cralle was a Black American inventor and businessman. He is best known for his invention of the ice cream scoop.

Biography (Life) of Alfred L. Cralle - Black American Inventor and Businessman

Alfred was born on the 4th September 1866 in Kenbridge, Virginia.

Education of Alfred L. Cralle - Black American Inventor and Businessman

Alfred never acquired a formal education beyond basic schooling as a child and young adult.

The career of Alfred L. Cralle - Black American Inventor and Businessman

Alfred worked for his father in the carpentry trade in his youth. He later attended the Wayland Seminary - This was a branch of the National Theological Institute.

He remained there for a few years before moving to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to work as a porter at a drugstore and hotel.

Inventions of Alfred L. Cralle - Black American Inventor and Businessman - “Ice Cream Mold and Disher”

Whilst working at the hotel in Pittsburgh, Alfred conceived of his idea of the ice cream scoop, as we know it today. He noticed how much trouble ice cream servers had whilst serving their customers with spoons and ladles alone.

He applied for and was awarded a patent for it in February of 1897. He would, sadly, never profit from his ingenious invention.

Death of Alfred L. Cralle - Black American Inventor and Businessman

Cralle, after losing his wife, one of his daughters and his only son to diseases, was tragically killed in an automobile accident in Pittsburgh in 1920. He was survived by his only surviving daughter who was only 10 years old.

58. Gloria Long Anderson - Black American (African American) Scientist, Chemist, and Academic

Gloria Long Anderson is a Black American Chemist and Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Chemistry at Morris Brown College. She is also the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Biography (Life) of Gloria Long Anderson - Black American Scientist, Chemist and Academic

Gloria was born on the 5th November 1938 in Altheimer, Arkansas. Her parents were sharecroppers and Gloria was expected to help with farm chores in her youth.

She currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia and has one son.

Education of Gloria Long Anderson - Black American Scientist, Chemist and Academic

Gloria earned her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Mathematics in 1958 from the Arkansas A & M and Normal College. She later earned her master’s in Organic Chemistry from Atlanta University in 1960.

She later won her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1968.

The career of Gloria Long Anderson - Black American Scientist, Chemist and Academic

After her Ph.D. Anderson joined the faculty of Morris Brown College in Atlanta as its Associate Professor, and chair, of the chemistry department. She was later promoted to the Fuller E. Calloway Professor of Chemistry in 1990, 1993, 1999 and 2007.

Anderson became Morris Brown's interim president twice, from 1992 to 1993 and in 1998, and was Dean of Science and Technology from 1995 to 1997.

Research of Gloria Long Anderson - Black American Scientist, Chemist and Academic

Gloria’s research has centered around fluorine-19 and how it interacts with other atoms. She has also concentrated on epoxidation mechanisms, solid-fuel rocket propellants, antiviral drugs, fluoridated pharmaceuticals and substituted amantadines.

Patents of Gloria Long Anderson - Black American Scientist, Chemist and Academic

Gloria has received various patents throughout her career.

59. Samuel R. Scottron - Black American (African American) Engineer and Inventor

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: U.S. Patent Office

Samuel R. Scottron was a Black American inventor and entrepreneur. He was a prominent member of Brooklyn’s Black Elite community and is best known as the inventor of the Scottron's Improved Mirror.

Biography (Life) of Samuel R. Scottron - Black American Engineer and Inventor

Samuel is thought to have been born in Philadelphia between 1841 and 1843 but other sources claim he was born free in New England. Nothing is known of his parents but there were most likely indentured servants, small farmers or perhaps artisans.

Whatever the truth, the family moved to New York 1849 and later Brooklyn in 1852. He later attended grammar school at the age of 14.

After a varied career, he eventually married a native New Yorker un 1863 and had five children. Samuel was the maternal great-grandfather of the singer Lena Horne.

Education of Samuel R. Scottron - Black American Engineer and Inventor

Scottron earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Cooper Union in 1878.

The career of Samuel R. Scottron - Black American Engineer and Inventor

In his early years, Samuel worked as a barber with his father. During the civil war, he worked as a merchant to supply provisions to the 3rd United States Colored Infantry but almost became bankrupt.

After the war, he opened a series of grocery stores and also a barber shop in Springfield, Massachusetts. Between the 1870’s and 1984, he focussed his attention on inventions and secured various patents for his creations.

These inventions would make him a wealthy man and he became the first Black American member of Brooklyn’s board of education.

Inventions of Samuel R. Scottron - Black American Engineer and Inventor - “Improved Mirror”

During his time as a barber, he noticed how customers struggled to view their haircuts using hand mirrors alone. His solution was to develop an array of mirrors that were “arranged opposite each other as to give the view of every side at once.”   

His mirror would prove to be very successful and profitable. He would also file for and be awarded a number of other patents ranging from an Adjustable Window Cornice to a Curtain Rod.

Community Leadership of Samuel R. Scottron - Black American Engineer and Inventor

Samuel was a community leader in New York. He helped set up organizations to promote racial harmony and equality of opportunity.

He was public speaker and writer on race relations and served as a highly influential leader in the Republican Party. He later fought to end slavery in Cuba and Puerto Rico.

Death of Samuel R. Scottron - Black American Engineer and Inventor

Samuel died in 1905.

60. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot - Black American (African American) Scientist and Sociologist

Black Inventors - The Complete List of Genius Black American (African American) Inventors, Scientists and Engineers with Their Revolutionary Inventions That Changed the World and Impacted the History - Part One
Source: Harvard

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot is a Black American sociologist who “examines the culture of schools, the broad ecology of education, and the relationship between human development and social change”.

Biography (Life) of Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot - Black American Scientist and Sociologist

Sara was born on 22nd August 1944. Sara has built a career exploring the culture of schools, the patterns and structures in the classroom, socialization within families and communities and the relationship between culture and learning styles.

Education of Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot - Black American Scientist and Sociologist

Sara completed her undergraduate studies in psychology at Swarthmore college between 1962 and 1966. She later earned the Ph.D. in the sociology of education at Harvard University in 1972.

The Career of Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot - Black American Scientist and Sociologist

Since gaining her Ph.D. Sara has built a career Sara joined the faculty of Harvard in 1972. She has remained there ever since.

“Portraiture” of Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot - Black American Scientist and Sociologist

“Portraiture” has been pioneered and developed by Sara throughout her career. This is an approach to social science that bridges “the realms of aesthetics and empiricism”.

Publications of Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot - Black American Scientist and Sociologist

Sara has written 10 books expanding and exploring her concept of “Portraiture”. These have included I’ve Known River and the seminal The Art and Science of Portraiture.

Honors and Awards of Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot - Black American Scientist and Sociologist

Sara has received various honors and awards throughout her career. These have included the MacArthur Fellowship in 1984 and her appointment, in 1998, as the Emily Hargrove’s Fisher endowed the chair at Harvard University to name but a few.

The later is planned to have its name changed to Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot endowed chair. This will make her the first Black American woman at Harvard to have an endowed professorship named in their honor.

61. Joseph Winters - Black American (African American) Inventor and Abolitionist

Joseph Winters was a Black American abolitionist and inventor. He is best known for his patent for a wagon-mounted fire escape ladder.

Biography (Life) of Joseph Winters - Black American Inventor and Abolitionist

Joseph was born in Leesburg, Virginia to a Black American brick maker and Shawnee Indian mother in 1816.

Winters later moved to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania in 1840.

The career of Joseph Winters - Black American Inventor and Abolitionist

Joseph initially worked as a farmer and later became a mechanic for the Cumberland Valley Railroad.

Inventions of Joseph Winters - Black American Inventor and Abolitionist - “Improved Wagon Mounted Fire Escape Ladder”

Joseph noticed that fireman of the time needed to take off ladders from wagons before raising them to climb up to windows to rescue people or use their hoses. His solution was to provide a means of keeping the ladders attached to wagons to enable them to be raised and lowered much more easily.

He filed for and received his patent for his design in 1878. He later made an improvement to the design and received another patent in 1879.

Interestingly his design was not the first true wagon fixed ladder, that had been made 29 years earlier by George Huttman and George Kornelio in 1849. Joseph’s innovation was to use a metal, rather than wooden, ladder.

His design would be quickly adopted by the Chambersburg, Pennsylvania Fire Department.

Other Patents of Joseph Winters - Black American Inventor and Abolitionist

Joseph would continue to tinker with his designs for fire escape ladders and received another patent in 1882 for the first ladder that could be affixed to a building.

Underground Railroad and Joseph Winter

Joseph Winters became an active member of the Underground Railroad movement in the U.S. The Underground Railroad was responsible for safely ferrying slaves into free states and Canada through networks of safe houses and secret routes across the U.S.

Death of Joseph Winters - Black American Inventor and Abolitionist

Joseph died in 1916 at the grand old age of 100.

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