Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

African-American Physicist Turned to Teaching Others

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

African-American Physicist Turned to Teaching Others

Article excerpt

Edward Bouchet was born in New Haven, Conn., in 1852. He was the son of William and Susan Bouchet, who had moved there from Charleston, S.C., for work.

Edward was an excellent student and he graduated as valedictorian of his high school class. In 1870, he entered Yale and four years later became the first African American to graduate from that university.

With his strong interest in science and an excellent academic record, Edward stayed on and enrolled in graduate studies. In 1876 he earned his Ph.D. in physics with a dissertation on measuring the bending of light. This accomplishment made him the first African American to earn a doctorate from an American University.

Bouchet was one of only a handful of physicists in the United States at the time, and he had some of the most impressive credentials available. …

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