Percy : An African American Chemist, Inventor, And Businessman

1573 WordsDec 12, 20167 Pages
Percy Lavon Julian was an African American chemist, inventor, and businessman however, he didn’t start out that way. Percy was born on April 11, 1899 in Montgomery, Alabama and was the grandson of a former slave (Britannica Biographies). He was the oldest of his six siblings and his mother was a teacher and his father took a job as a railway mail clerk (Encyclopedia of World Biography). Growing up, Percy faced racial prejudice not only in this personal life but also in his professional life. Percy attended school up to eighth grade but because he was African American there was no high school open to any black students. He traveled to Indiana and applied and got accepted to DePauw University of Greencastle, however since he was unable to attend high school he had to take high school level classes at night to be able to be at the same educational level as his classmates (Bio.com). Despite not going to high school, leaving his hometown, having to take night classes, Percy overcame all these obstacles and graduated as class valedictorian and with Phi Beta Kappa honors. Percy Julian shared his life with his wife Anna Johnson who was a sociologist at Howard University while he was teaching there as well when they first met. They were married in 1935 and had two children. Percy and Anna ended up moving to Oak Park, Illinois however before they could move in their house was firebombed (Bio.com). Percy first got interested in the field when he was a young boy. When Percy was a
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