Albert T. Bharucha-Reid (1927-1985)

Albert Turner Reid, born in Hampton, Virginia, November 13, 1927, the son of William Thaddeus Reid and Mae Elaine Beamon Reid, was a renowned mathematician who earned his bachelor’s degree at Iowa State University in 1949 but never completed a graduate degree in his chosen field, believing further supervised study … Read MoreAlbert T. Bharucha-Reid (1927-1985)

Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806)

Cover of Benjamin Banneker’s 1792 Almanac Image Ownership: Public Domain Benjamin Banneker, free black, farmer, mathematician, and astronomer, was born on November 9, 1731, the son of freed slaves Robert and Mary Bannaky, probably near the Patapsco River southeast of Baltimore, Maryland, where his father owned a … Read MoreBenjamin Banneker (1731-1806)

Vasco De Gama Hale (1915-2002)

Vasco De Gama Hale, educator, blinded veterans’ association organizer, and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) official, was born in Crawford, Mississippi, to Brotop and Jane Hale on February 16, 1915. His father, Brotop, toiled as a sharecropper for a short time … Read MoreVasco De Gama Hale (1915-2002)

Jean Baptiste Lislet-Geoffroy (a.k.a. Geoffroy L’Islet, 1755-1836)

Image Ownership: Public domain Pioneering cartographer and meteorologist Jean-Baptist Lislet-Geoffroy was born August 23, 1755 in Saint-Pierre, Réunion, a French island colony in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar and southern Africa. He was the son of Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy, a white French engineer, and an … Read MoreJean Baptiste Lislet-Geoffroy (a.k.a. Geoffroy L’Islet, 1755-1836)

Robert Ambrose Thornton (1902-1982)

Image Ownership: Public domain Physicist and university administrator Robert Ambrose Thornton was born in Houston, Texas, on May 6, 1902 to Frank Thornton, a laborer, and the former Mary Jane Sullivan, a midwife. Thornton attended Houston Colored High School but later graduated from Los Angeles … Read MoreRobert Ambrose Thornton (1902-1982)

Camille Sosthène Héliodore Mortenol (1859-1930)

Image Ownership: Public domain French naval hero Camille Mortenol was born November 29, 1859 in Pointe-à-Pitre, the largest city in the French island colony of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean Sea, the son of former slave André Mortenol, a sailor, and his wife, Julienne Toussaint, a … Read MoreCamille Sosthène Héliodore Mortenol (1859-1930)

Elvin R., Sr. Caldwell (1919-2004)

Image Ownership: Public domain Politician Elvin R. Caldwell Sr. was born on April 11, 1919 in Denver, Colorado. Raised in Five Points, Denver’s predominantly black community, Caldwell was one of 12 children in his family. After graduating from Eastside High School in 1937, Caldwell earned … Read MoreElvin R., Sr. Caldwell (1919-2004)

Mary Winston Jackson (1921–2005)

Mary Winston Jackson was an American mathematician and aerospace engineer at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which would later become the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Jackson was born on April 9, 1921, in Hampton, Virginia, to Ella and Frank Winston. She … Read MoreMary Winston Jackson (1921–2005)

Dorothy Johnson Vaughan (1910–2008)

"Image Ownership: Public Domain" Dorothy Johnson Vaughan was a teacher who became a leading mathematical engineer in the first aerospace program with NACA (now NASA), and the first African American female promoted as supervisor in the program. Vaughan was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on … Read MoreDorothy Johnson Vaughan (1910–2008)