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American Chemical Society

Division of the History of Chemistry

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Historical Projects and Presentations Recommended by HIST Members

Underrepresented Minorities

  • St. Elmo Brady — The First African American PhD Chemist
    During Black History Month 2022, Dr Vera Mainz (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) celebrated St. Elmo Brady (1884 – 1966). He was the first African American to obtain a Ph.D. degree in chemistry in the United States; earning this degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1916. Brady went on to serve leadership roles at four historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs): Tuskegee, Howard University, Fisk University, and Tougaloo College, where he helped build strong undergraduate curricula and founded graduate programs in chemistry.