Percy Julian is a famous scientist and is the inventor of the first man-made egg. His bachelor’s degree is in genetics. Did you know that he started his education at the University of Minnesota?
Percy Lavon Julian was born in Montgomery, Alabama on April 11, 1899. He was the eldest of six children. His parents were graduates of the school that became the Alabama State University.
As a child, Percy attended the segregated schools in Montgomery. Although he graduated as valedictorian, he was not accepted to any university because of his race. In fact, he was denied admission to a doctoral program at Harvard University because the administration didn’t think that white students would accept him as a teacher.
When he was young, he had to work two jobs to support himself. His father was a railway mail clerk and his mother was a school teacher. While in school, he took evening high school courses.
After graduating from high school, he enrolled in DePauw University in Indiana. Although it was a small institution, it was one of the few colleges that accepted African-American students. They offered him a scholarship.
Once he finished his studies, he was awarded a fellowship at the Rockefeller Foundation. At the time, black men were not promoted to professorial positions. The foundation offers a scholarship to a doctoral institution of the student’s choice.
Percy Julian continued his education by attending a two-year teacher training school for black students. He traveled for several years teaching at Black colleges. Upon returning to the United States, he took a job at Howard University as a chemistry instructor.
Percy Julian went on to become a successful chemist. He pioneered the industrial scale chemical synthesis of medicinal drugs. Throughout his career, he authored 160 scientific publications and received many honors.
He was a fellow of the American Institute of Chemistry and the National Academy of Sciences. He was also a trustee of five universities. Among his many awards, he received a spinggarn medal from the NAACP in 1947.
High school education
Percy Lavon Julian was born on April 11, 1899 in Montgomery, Alabama. He was the oldest of six children. His grandparents were former slaves, and his father was a railway mail clerk. The family was much better off than most blacks in the day.
While growing up, the family was committed to education. Eventually, Percy’s parents became school teachers. However, their education was limited by Jim Crow laws. They could only send their son to a segregated elementary and high school.
As a result, he did not receive a proper education. It was only after he graduated from high school that he was able to attend a college. A teacher from the State Normal School for Colored Students helped him to matriculate into DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.
When he arrived at the University, he was placed in a subfreshman class. At this time, there were very few African-American students. There were no dormitories or meals for him. Consequently, he lived in an off-campus boarding house.
At the University, he was required to take a number of remedial classes. Upon graduation, he received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and was named Phi Beta Kappa.
After graduating from the University, Percy Julian went on to earn a Master of Science in Chemistry at Harvard University. In 1973, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Among his other awards, he received the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP.
He later returned to the United States and taught chemistry at Howard University. During this time, he also became a leader in the fight for human rights. Several social enterprises were founded by him.
He also served as a member of several advisory boards. Later, he founded the Julian Research Institute, which encouraged learning in STEM for people of colour.
University of Minnesota
Percy Lavon Julian was a pioneer in chemical synthesis of medicinal drugs from plants. He helped alleviate human suffering in many countries. During his lifetime, he was recognized as a renowned inventor and earned a place in the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Throughout his career, he was awarded over 130 patents.
Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Julian was the son of a railway mail clerk. His father encouraged his son to pursue his passion for science. During his eight years of schooling, Julian worked at a fraternal organization and slept in his attic. Eventually, he went to school at the State Normal School for Colored Students in Montgomery. In 1916, he completed two years.
The family then moved to Greencastle, Indiana. Julian graduated from DePauw University in 1920, as valedictorian of his class. While there, he studied natural products chemistry. After graduating, he went on to work at Howard University.
He supervised a commercial process for producing steroidal intermediates, and developed a commercial steroid-production method. This was used in the production of fire-extinguishing foam during World War II. It was later purchased by Smith, Kline & French.
Afterward, he founded his own research institute. He also aided the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in its campaign against racial discrimination in housing and jobs.
The National Academy of Sciences elected Julian as the second black member. He was also honored with the Spingarn Medal by the NAACP.
He was also recognized as one of the top 25 American chemists. His compound, physostigmine, is still in use to treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Julian later started his own company, Julian Laboratories, in 1953. This company manufactured steroids and developed farms in Mexico.
Research into infertility
During the twentieth century, Percy Julian was one of the most influential chemists. He was a pioneer in the chemical synthesis of medicinal drugs from plants, and he was a key figure in the development of medicines essential for organ transplants.
Julian was born on April 11, 1899, in Montgomery, Alabama. His father worked as a railway mail clerk, and his grandfather was an enslaved person. Despite being the grandson of enslaved people, Percy had a desire to become a doctor. However, he had to overcome systemic racism in order to obtain a college education.
As a student, Julian was an eager and hardworking person. He attended segregated schools in Montgomery, Alabama, through eighth grade, and he went to high school classes in the evenings. By the time he graduated, he had earned straight A’s.
After earning his bachelor’s degree, he continued his studies. In 1916, he was accepted to DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana as a sub-freshman. While there, he met and married Anna Roselle. They had two children. Sadly, Julian died of liver cancer in 1975.
After his studies, he was hired as a chemistry professor at the historically black West Virginia State College. During his tenure, the school became more open to African Americans. But in 1932, there was a scandal that broke out at the university. Eventually, Julian resigned, and moved to Washington, D.C.
The scandal caused his tenure at the university to come to an end. Fortunately, a friend of Julian’s named William Blanchard stepped in to help him. Eventually, he was offered a position at the research institute in Appleton, Wisconsin.
During the Second World War, Aero-Foam, a sterile foam, was widely used. However, the synthetic sterols that were being manufactured at the time were too expensive to be made in bulk. Thus, Julian devised a process for synthesizing the sterols more quickly and cheaply.
Percy Julian was an African American chemist who made many groundbreaking contributions to the field. His research led to chemical synthesis of drugs to treat glaucoma and arthritis. He was the second African American to be inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, and received 19 honourary degrees. Throughout his career, he was awarded 130 patents.
Julian was born in Montgomery, Alabama, and grew up in segregated schools. Although his parents encouraged him to learn, he was not allowed to attend a public high school. For most African Americans, the public education system ended at eighth grade.
Julian graduated first in his class from DePauw University. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, he returned to school to obtain a master’s degree. When he finished, he decided to pursue a doctorate in chemistry.
In the beginning, he had difficulty getting a teaching position at a university. The University of Vienna offered him a scholarship. However, they were concerned that white students would be resentful of having an African American teach their courses.
In 1929, Julian traveled to Europe for further study. There he studied natural products chemistry under the German chemist Ernst Spath. They learned about soybean and sterols.
During his studies, he became interested in synthesis. Synthesis is the process of taking a substance and turning it into another substance. During his research, he discovered how to extract sterols from soybean oil. This invention led to the production of successful products for Glidden, such as Aero-Foam, which was used in World War II.
Upon returning to the United States, Julian began working as a chemistry instructor at Fisk University. Eventually, he became a professor at Howard University in Washington, D.C.