CITY OF KANKAKEE: “Making life a little easier for those after him”
City of Kankakee issued the following announcement on Feb. 21.
Percy Julian attended school through the eighth grade, but was not allowed to attend high school. Growing up in Montgomery, Alabama in the early 1900s he faced many challenges as an African American man with a desire for higher education. However, those challenges did not stop Julian from graduating first in his class, with Phi Beta Kappa honors, from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. He later went on to attend Harvard University for his master’s degree and the University of Vienna in Austria for his Ph.D.
Percy Julian was a pioneer in the chemical synthesis of medicinal drugs such as cortisone, steroids and birth control pills. He was the first black chemist elected to the National Academy of Science, in 1973. Years later, he was elected to the National Inventors Hall of Fame and in 1999 his synthesis of physostigmine was recognized by the American Chemical Society as “one of the top 25 achievements in the history of American chemistry.”
For more information on Percy Julian’s story, visit: https://www.biography.com/people/percy-julian-9359018 and https://www.sciencehistory.org/historica…/percy-lavon-julian. Julian’s life was also the subject of a documentary film made for PBS’s Nova series, entitled Forgotten Genius.
Original source can be found here.
Source: City of Kankakee