St. Elmo Brady

December 22, 1884 – December 25, 1966

St. Elmo Brady is the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in chemistry in the United States—earned from the University of Illinois in 1912. Brady also became the first African American admitted to the University’s chemistry honor society, Phi Lambda Upsilon, and he was one of the first to be inducted into Sigma Xi, the science honorary. After completing his doctoral degree, Brady taught at historically black universities, including Tuskegee Institute, Howard University, Fisk University, and Tougaloo College, leaving an impressive teaching legacy of strong undergraduate and graduate chemistry programs.

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