Remembering Percy Julian

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In honor of black history month I’d like to recognize one of the most distinguished men of the 20th century: Percy Julian. An Alabama native, Percy was born into a world where opportunities for colored people were scarce, specifically in regard to education. Despite his disadvantages Percy graduated from DePauw University as valedictorian, and went on to earn multiple degrees from Harvard and the University of Vienna.

More than just a book-smart, Percy Julian went on to revolutionize the medical world through synthesizing physostigmine (used to treat glaucoma) and cortisone (often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis). He also invented “AeroFoam,” the fire-extinguishing foam we still find today in typical fire extinguishers!

Though this forgotten genius passed in 1975, his legacy and life’s work stays with us still today. Percy Julian idealizes that with hard work and dedication we are capable of overcoming any obstacles, and achieving are dreams.

If you would like to learn more about Percy Julian follow this great link:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/forgotten-genius.html

–  OIA Bloggers 

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