Percy Lavon Julian was born on April 11, 1899 in Montgomery, AL. He attended DePauw University in Greencastle, IN and after a brief time as an instructor of chemistry at Fisk University, he received a fellowship to pursue his M.S. degree at Harvard University. Unable to complete his Ph.D. at Harvard due to racial discrimination, a Rockefeller Foundation grant allowed him to travel to Vienna where he earned his Ph.D. in 1931. An outstanding research chemist, Julian was awarded over 138 individual patents for his work and later began his own company, Julian Laboratories Incorporated, to synthesize steroid intermediaries from Mexican wild yams. His Mexican operations were purchased by Smith Kline, while an operation he had set in Guatemala to cultivate and harvest Dioscorea was purchased by Upjohn. In 1964 Julian founded Julian Associates and the Julian Research Institute. Percy Lavon Julian was the first African American chemist admitted into the National Academy of Sciences. He died in Waukegan, IL on December 19, 1975.
From the description of The Ray Dawson - Percy Julian Collection, 1938-1993 (bulk 1957-1960) (Chemical Heritage Foundation). WorldCat record id: 768191010