Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Foster Honors Dr. St. Elmo Brady on House Floor during Black History Month

Feb 11, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC – On Tuesday, February 9, 2016, Congressman Bill Foster spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives to recognize the life and contributions of Dr. St. Elmo Brady, the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry.

Video of Foster’s speech can be found here.

Text of Foster’s remarks as prepared is below:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Dr. St. Elmo Brady.

He was the first African American to obtain a Ph.D. degree in chemistry in the United States.

He received a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Illinois in 1916 for work done in Noyes Laboratory.

Dr. Brady was a pioneer in the teaching of science at both Tuskegee University and at Howard University in Washington DC.

His research included work on the determining the structure of organic acids, methods of determining properties of alkaloids and infrared spectroscopy.

This latter research resulted in the formation of the Fisk Infrared Spectroscopy Research Laboratory and the Fisk Infrared Institute.

In conjunction with faculty from the University of Illinois, Dr. Brady also established a summer program in infrared spectroscopy, which was open to faculty from all colleges and universities.

Dr. Brady is just one of the many African American pioneering scientists who should be lifted up as the role models they are, not just during Black History Month, but all year round.