Famous Black Scientists

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 1 
Neil deGrasse Tyson
(American Astrophysicist, Planetary Scientist and Science Communicator)
Neil deGrasse Tyson
52
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 
Bennet Omalu
(Forensic Pathologist Known for His Research in ‘Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy’ in American Football Players)
Bennet Omalu
5
Birthdate: September 30, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Idemili South, Nigeria

Nigerian-American physician, forensic-pathologist and neuropathologist Bennet Omalu is most-noted for discovering chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in American football players. He was serving at Allegheny County coroner's office in Pittsburgh at that time. He presently serves as President and Medical Director of Bennet Omalu Pathology, chief medical examiner for San Joaquin County, and as professor at the University of California, Davis.

 3 
Mary Jackson
(Mathematician)
Mary Jackson
10
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 
Dorothy Vaughan
(American Mathematician, Human Computer and the First African-American to Receive Promotion as Supervisor in NASA)
Dorothy Vaughan
29
Birthdate: September 20, 1910
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Died: November 10, 2008

American mathematician Dorothy Vaughan was also known as a "human computer." Initially a math teacher, she became the first African-American supervisor of NACA, later part of NASA, at a time when racial segregation was rampant in the U.S. Her contribution to the early American space programs is invaluable.

 5 
Benjamin Banneker
(Compiler of Almanacs)
Benjamin Banneker
6
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 
Retta
(Stand-up Comedian)
Retta
14
Birthdate: April 12, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
 7 
Percy Lavon Julian
(One of the First African Americans to Receive a Doctorate in Chemistry)
Percy Lavon Julian
4
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.

 8 
Timnit Gebru
(Computer scientist)
Timnit Gebru
4
Birthplace: Ethiopia
 9 
Valerie Thomas
(scientist and inventor)
Valerie Thomas
3
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.
 10 
Marie Maynard Daly
(Biochemist)
Marie Maynard Daly
4
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 
Jelani Nelson
(Creator of AddisCoder)
Jelani Nelson
1
Birthdate: June 28, 1984
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
 12 
Pamela Uba
(First black woman to win the Miss Ireland competition and represent Ireland for the Miss World competition)
Pamela Uba
3
Birthdate: 1995 AD
Birthplace: South Africa
 13 
Rediet Abebe
(Computer scientist)
Rediet Abebe
2
Birthdate: 1991 AD
Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
 14 
Edward Bouchet
(physicist)
Edward Bouchet
2
Birthdate: September 15, 1852
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Died: August 28, 1918
 15 
George Wiley
(Activist)
George Wiley
0
Birthdate: February 26, 1931
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bayonne, New Jersey, United States
Died: August 8, 1973
 16 
Erasto B. Mpemba
(Scientist)
Erasto B. Mpemba
0
Birthdate: 1950 AD
Birthplace: Tanzania
 17 
Euphemia Haynes
(Former Mathematician who was first African American woman to earn a PhD in mathematics)
Euphemia Haynes
2
Birthdate: September 11, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: July 25, 1980
 18 
Judy Wakhungu
(Kenyan Politician and Diplomat)
Judy Wakhungu
2
Birthplace: Bungoma, Kenya

The current Kenyan ambassador to France, Judy Wakhungu has previously been a geologist and was the first woman to teach at the University of Nairobi’s geology department. She has been associated with the UNCSTD and has been the Ministry of Energy and Regional Development’s first female geologist.

 19 
Nkandu Luo
(Zambian Politician and Microbiologist Who is Known for Her Extensive Research into HIV/AIDS)
Nkandu Luo
1
Birthdate: December 21, 1951
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chinsali, Zambia

Nkandu Luo is a Zambian politician and microbiologist. She is best known for her extensive research into HIV/AIDS at the University Teaching Hospital, where she was the former Head of Pathology and Microbiology. An important politician, Luo has held various ministerial offices, including the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Higher Education, and Ministry of Gender and Child Development.

 20 
Evelyn Boyd Granville
(Mathematician)
Evelyn Boyd Granville
2
Birthdate: May 1, 1924
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
 21 
Marian Ewurama Addy
3
Birthdate: February 7, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nkawkaw, Ghana
Died: January 14, 2014
 22 
Elizabeth Nyamayaro
(Political scientist)
Elizabeth Nyamayaro
1
Birthplace: Zimbabwe
 23 
Karamba Diaby
(Member of the Bundestag)
Karamba Diaby
0
Birthdate: November 27, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Marsassoum, Senegal
 24 
Dorothy Gwajima
(Politician)
Dorothy Gwajima
0
Birthdate: March 21, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Iramba, Singida Region, Tanzania
Aïssata Issoufou Mahamadou
1
Birthplace: Maine Soroa, Niger
 26 
Juliana Rotich
(Kenyan IT Professional & Co-founder a Collective Tech Space Called 'iHub')
Juliana Rotich
2
Birthdate: 1977 AD
Birthplace: Kenya
Juliana Rotich is a Kenyan IT professional best known for developing web tools for crowdsourcing crisis information. She is credited with co-founding a collective tech space known as iHub. In 2011, Juliana Rotich was mentioned in The Guardian newspaper in its World’s Top 100 Women list. 
 27 
Lassina Zerbo
(Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organizatio)
Lassina Zerbo
0
Birthdate: October 10, 1963
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Burkina Faso
 28 
Asmeret Asefaw Berhe
(Soil scientist, Researcher)
Asmeret Asefaw Berhe
0
Birthplace: Asmara, Eritrea
 29 
Monica Musenero
(Ugandan women scientist)
Monica Musenero
0
Birthdate: 1965 AD
Birthplace: Patete, Butebo District, Uganda
 30 
Diana Atwine
(Physician, Scientist)
Diana Atwine
0
Birthdate: 1973 AD
Birthplace: Galiraya, Uganda
 31 
Agnes Kalibata
(Agricultural Scientist, Policymaker)
Agnes Kalibata
1
Birthplace: Rwanda
 32 
Emmanuel Dongala
(Chemist and Novelist)
Emmanuel Dongala
0
Birthdate: July 14, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo
 33 
LeRoy T. Walker
(Sports Executive)
LeRoy T. Walker
1
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 
Sia Koroma
(Biochemist)
Sia Koroma
1
Birthdate: March 19, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kono District British Sierra Leone
 35 
Ron Buckmire
(Mathematician, LGBT activist)
Ron Buckmire
1
Birthdate: 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Grenville, Grenada
 36 
Thomas R. Odhiambo
(Kenyan Environmental Activist and Entomologist)
Thomas R. Odhiambo
1
Birthdate: February 4, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nyanza Province, Kenya
Died: May 26, 2003
Thomas R. Odhiambo was a Kenyan environmental activist and entomologist. He is credited with founding an international scientific research institute called the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology. Thomas R. Odhiambo also helped found three institutions of learning, namely the African Academy of Sciences, the Kenyan National Academy of Sciences, and the Third World Academy of Sciences.
 37 
Avery August
(Immunologist)
Avery August
0
Birthdate: December 28, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Belize City, Belize
 38 
Kenneth Oakley
(Anthropologist)
Kenneth Oakley
0
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).
 39 
Maria Andrade
(worked in Mozambique as a sweet potato researcher since 1996 and was a co-winner of the 2016 World Food Prize)
Maria Andrade
0
Birthdate: 1958 AD
Birthplace: São Filipe, Cape Verde
 40 
Rose Dieng-Kuntz
(Computer scientist)
Rose Dieng-Kuntz
0
Birthdate: March 27, 1956
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Senegal
Died: June 30, 2008
 41 
Kitaw Ejigu
(Space Scientist)
Kitaw Ejigu
0
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.  

 42 
Toupta Boguena
(Scientist, Administrator)
Toupta Boguena
0
Birthplace: Chad
Died: August 4, 2021
 43 
Léopold K. Fakambi
(Former Agronomist)
Léopold K. Fakambi
0
Birthdate: October 21, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lomé, Togo
Died: August 24, 2021