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Sun, 08.24.1884

George Biddle Kelley, Civil Engineer, born

George Biddle Kelley

*George Biddle Kelley was born on this date in 1884. He was a Black civil engineer. From Troy, New York, his father, Richard, was a runaway slave who volunteered with the 54th Massachusetts Infantry. His mother, Mathilda, was the daughter of an African Methodist Episcopal minister, the Rev. W.H. Decker.

Young Kelley was named after his uncle and godfather, the Rev. E. George Biddle. He credited all his ancestors for inspiring his pursuits and aspirations. Kelly attended Cornell University from 1905-1908 and earned a Civil Engineer degree in 1908. He was a founding member (Jewel) of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the oldest existing African American fraternal organization.

After graduation, he became the first black engineer registered with the State of New York.  He also worked for the federal government, creating maps of Birmingham, Alabama, and its adjacent suburbs. George Kelley died in 1963.

To Become a Civil Engineer

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