Friday, April 11, 2014
Chemist Percy Julian was honored with a Google Doodle today. He would have been 115 years old today.
It's nice seeing African-Americans being celebrated outside of the few cold winter days of February. NOVA had a program about him in 2007 called Forgotten Genius. It's available online and I plan to watch when I get a chance.
Julian was born in Montgomery, Alabama in 1899. His grandfather was freed by the 13th Amendment. While a slave, he had two fingers cut off as punishment for his learning to write.
In spite of racism and violence against his family, Julian earned a doctorate in chemistry, was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences and received over 115 patents.
He's most noted for being "a pioneer in the chemical synthesis of medicinal drugs such as cortisone, steroids and birth control pills." Lavon Julian's work has changed many lives for the better and for that, I say, "Thank you!"
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