Famous Black Scientists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson
Famous As: Astrophysicist
Birthdate: October 5, 1958
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States

Public Welfare Medal-winning astrophysicist and academic Neil deGrasse Tyson hosted shows such as NOVA ScienceNow, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, and Star Talk. He is the director of Hayden Planetarium and contributed to the dismissal of Pluto’s status as the ninth planet. He has also written a monthly column as "Merlin.”

 2 George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver
Famous As: Scientist & Inventor
Birthdate: January 1, 1864
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Diamond, Missouri, United States
Died: January 5, 1943
Agricultural scientist George Washington Carver is best remembered for promoting crops that were alternative to cotton, such as peanuts and sweet potatoes. He invented ways to prevent soil depletion and developed scores of products made from peanuts, including paints and cosmetics. He won numerous honors, such as the Spingarn Medal.

 3 Mary Jackson

Mary Jackson
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: April 9, 1921
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hampton, Virginia, United States
Died: February 11, 2005

American mathematician and aerospace engineer Mary Jackson went down in history as the first African-American woman to work as a NASA engineer. Initially a math teacher, she later joined NACA under Dorothy Vaughan and contributed to countless American space programs at a time when racial segregation was the norm.

 4 Retta

Famous As: Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: April 12, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, U.S.

 5 Benjamin Banneker

Benjamin Banneker
Famous As: Compiler of Almanacs
Birthdate: November 9, 1731
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Baltimore County
Died: October 9, 1806

Benjamin Banneker was born to a free African-American mother and a former slave father, and was largely self-educated. While he showed immense talent in both mathematics and astronomy, having predicted a solar eclipse with precision, he also wrote essays on civil rights and rallied against slavery.

 6 Percy Lavon Julian

Percy Lavon Julian
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: April 11, 1899
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Died: April 19, 1975

Percy Lavon Julian was an American chemist whose work paved the way for the production of birth control pills and corticosteroids. Julian went on to start his own company which helped reduce the price of steroid intermediates. In 1973, Percy Lavon Julian was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences and became the first African-American to receive this honor.

 7 Timnit Gebru

Timnit Gebru
Famous As: Computer scientist
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Ethiopia
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 8 Valerie Thomas

Valerie Thomas
Famous As: scientist and inventor
Birthdate: 1943 AD
Birthplace: Maryland, United States
After becoming one of the two female students in her university class to graduate in physics, Valerie Thomas joined NASA as a data analyst. While she oversaw the Landsat program, she is best remembered for inventing the illusion transmitter, which helped project a 3D optical illusion using concave mirrors.

 9 Jelani Nelson

Jelani Nelson
Famous As: Creator of AddisCoder
Birthdate: June 28, 1984
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

 10 Marie Maynard Daly

Marie Maynard Daly
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: April 16, 1921
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Corona, New York, United States
Died: October 28, 2003

Marie Maynard Daly was the first Black lady to earn a doctoral degree in chemistry in the U.S. She was inspired by her father, who had to drop out of Cornell due to lack of funds. A pioneer of biochemistry, Daly later introduced a scholarship for African-American students at Queens College.

 11 Rediet Abebe

Rediet Abebe
Famous As: Computer scientist
Birthdate: 1991 AD
Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

 12 Edward Bouchet

Edward Bouchet
Famous As: physicist
Birthdate: September 15, 1852
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Died: August 28, 1918

 13 George Carruthers

George Carruthers
Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: October 1, 1939
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Died: December 20, 2020

 14 George Wiley

George Wiley
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: February 26, 1931
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bayonne, New Jersey, United States
Died: August 8, 1973

 15 Dorothy Gwajima

Dorothy Gwajima
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: March 21, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Iramba, Singida Region, Tanzania

 16 Judy Wakhungu

Judy Wakhungu
Famous As: Politician, Diplomat
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Bungoma, Kenya

 17 Evelyn Boyd Granville

Evelyn Boyd Granville
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: May 1, 1924
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

 18 Euphemia Haynes

Euphemia Haynes
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: September 11, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: 1980 AD

 19 Nkandu Luo

Nkandu Luo
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: December 21, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chinsali, Zambia

 20 Erasto B. Mpemba

Erasto B. Mpemba
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: 1950 AD
Birthplace: Tanzania

 21 Elizabeth Nyamayaro

Elizabeth Nyamayaro
Famous As: Political scientist
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Zimbabwe

 22 Karamba Diaby

Karamba Diaby
Famous As: Member of the Bundestag
Birthdate: November 27, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Marsassoum, Senegal

 23 Marian Ewurama Addy

Marian Ewurama Addy
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: February 7, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nkawkaw, Ghana
Died: January 14, 2014

 24 Aïssata Issoufou Mahamadou

Aïssata Issoufou Mahamadou
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Maine Soroa, Niger

 25 Juliana Rotich

Juliana Rotich
Famous As: Information technologist, Enterpreneur
Birthdate: 1977 AD
Birthplace: Kenya

 26 Monica Musenero

Monica Musenero
Famous As: Ugandan women scientist
Birthdate: 1965 AD
Birthplace: Patete, Butebo District, Uganda

 27 Asmeret Asefaw Berhe

Asmeret Asefaw Berhe
Famous As: Soil scientist, Researcher
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Asmara, Eritrea

 28 Lassina Zerbo

Lassina Zerbo
Famous As: Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organizatio
Birthdate: October 10, 1963
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Burkina Faso

 29 Diana Atwine

Diana Atwine
Famous As: Physician, Scientist
Birthdate: 1973 AD
Birthplace: Galiraya, Uganda

 30 Agnes Kalibata

Agnes Kalibata
Famous As: Agricultural Scientist, Policymaker
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Rwanda

 31 Emmanuel Dongala

Emmanuel Dongala
Famous As: Chemist and Novelist
Birthdate: July 14, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo

 32 Sia Koroma

Sia Koroma
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: March 19, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kono District British Sierra Leone

 33 LeRoy T. Walker

LeRoy T. Walker
Famous As: Sports Executive
Birthdate: August 14, 1918
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Died: April 23, 2012

Apart from being the first Black coach of an American Olympic team, LeRoy T. Walker was also the first Black president of the US Olympic Committee. The fame track and field coach also excelled in basketball and football initially. He also held an Olympic Order and 15 honorary degrees.

 34 Thomas R. Odhiambo

Thomas R. Odhiambo
Famous As: Entomologist
Birthdate: February 4, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nyanza Province, Kenya
Died: May 26, 2003

 35 Avery August

Avery August
Famous As: Immunologist
Birthdate: December 28, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Belize City, Belize

 36 Kenneth Oakley

Kenneth Oakley
Famous As: Anthropologist
Birthdate: April 7, 1911
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Amersham, England
Died: November 2, 1981
Kenneth Oakley was an English physical anthropologist, palaeontologist and geologist known for his work in the relative dating of fossils by fluorine content. He was instrumental in the exposure of the Piltdown Man hoax in 1950s. Oakley's famous books include Man the Toolmaker (1949), Frameworks for Dating Fossil Man (1964), and Relative Dating of the Fossil Hominids of Europe (1980).

 37 Maria Andrade

Maria Andrade
Famous As: worked in Mozambique as a sweet potato researcher since 1996 and was a co-winner of the 2016 World Food Prize
Birthdate: 1958 AD
Birthplace: São Filipe, Cape Verde

 38 Rose Dieng-Kuntz

Rose Dieng-Kuntz
Famous As: Computer scientist
Birthdate: March 27, 1956
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Senegal
Died: June 30, 2008

 39 Léopold K. Fakambi

Léopold K. Fakambi
Famous As: Former Agronomist
Birthdate: October 21, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lomé, Togo
Died: August 24, 2021

 40 Kitaw Ejigu

Kitaw Ejigu
Famous As: Space Scientist
Birthdate: February 25, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bonga, Russia
Died: January 13, 2006

Kitaw Ejigu was an Ethiopian-American engineer and one of Ethiopia’s first aerospace scientists. He worked for NASA as a system engineer and space research scientist and managed a joint NASA/ESA International Solar Polar Mission Spacecraft Systems Interface. He is also credited with the invention of two aerospace mechanisms which were patented under NASA's new technologies programs.  

 41 Toupta Boguena

Toupta Boguena
Famous As: Scientist, Administrator
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Chad
Died: August 4, 2021