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Thu, 02.26.1931

George Wiley, Chemist born

George Wiley

*George Wiley was born on this date in 1931.  He was a Black chemist and civil rights leader.  

George Alvin Wiley was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, the son of a postal clerk and one of six children. Wiley's family eventually moved to Warwick, Rhode Island.  Wiley earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Rhode Island in 1953. He received a doctorate in organic chemistry from Cornell University in 1957.

Wiley fulfilled a six-month ROTC obligation as a first lieutenant in the United States Army at Fort Lee, Virginia; and subsequently accepted a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles.  Wiley taught for two years at the University of California, Berkeley, whereupon he took a teaching position at Syracuse University in 1960.

That same year, he founded the Syracuse chapter of Congress of Racial Equality. He later was a founder of the National Welfare Rights Organization.  He was listed on the Master list of Nixon's political opponents.  Wiley was married and had a son and a daughter. His daughter is the civil rights activist Maya Wiley.  

On August 9, 1973, Wiley fell overboard while on a boat with his children on the Chesapeake Bay. On August 12, 1973, Wiley's body was found on the shore of Chesapeake Beach, Maryland after a three-day search.  

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