Percy Julian was born in Alabama during the time of Jim Crow laws that limited what African-Americans could do. In spite of dangers and humiliations, Percy completed high school and went to Indiana for college. He got his Master's degree at Harvard, but had to go to the University of Vienna, Austria, to earn his doctorate because of racial prejudice at Harvard.
Percy Julian specialized in making drugs and medications from plants. During his lifetime, he earned more than 138 patents for his work.
Percy Julian developed steroids and hormones. He also invented a foam fire extinguisher that put out oil and gasoline fires especially on ships. Percy Julian's invention saved many lives!
In 1950, Percy Julian moved to an all-white suburb of Chicago where he was the victim of several racist attacks. He and his father took turns spending nights in a tree with a shotgun, watching over the house.
In 1953, Percy Julian started his first company, Julian Laboratories which he sold at a profit. Then he started Julian Associates and Julian Research, which he managed until his death from liver cancer in 1975.
Wikipedia: Dr. Percy Lavon Julian
National Academy of Science: Dr. Percy Lavon Julian
Black Inventor Online Museum: Percy Julian
DePauw University Library: Dr. Percy Julian
DePauw University News The Life of Percy Lavan Julian '20:
PBS: A Science Odessey: Percy Julian
Hall of Fame -Inventer Profile: Percy Julian
Black History Stamp: Julian
American Chemical Society: Percy Julian
Page created March 21, 2009. Anne Pemberton. Updated Sun, Jan 22, 2012. AP.