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Sun, 05.30.1915

Henry A. Hill, Chemistry born

Henry A. Hill

This date marks the birth of Henry Aaron Hill in 1915.  He was a Black chemist.

Born in St. Joseph, N.C., he completed a B.A. at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C. in 1936, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1942.  In 1961, he became president and founder of the Riverside Research Laboratory.

An authority in the fields of polymer chemistry and fabric flammability, Hill directed research on fluorocarbons. Polymer chemistry or macromolecular chemistry is a multidisciplinary science that deals with the chemical synthesis and chemical properties of polymers or macromolecules. According to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) recommendations, macromolecules refer to the individual molecular chains and are the domain of chemistry.  Polymers describe the bulk properties of polymer materials and belong to the field of polymer physics as a subfield of physics.

In 1977, Hill became the first Black president of the American Chemical Society and chaired the chemistry section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  An advocate of chemical regulation and safety, Hill served with several government scientific groups.  He passed away in 1979 in Haverhill, Mass.

The African American Atlas
Black History & Culture an Illustrated Reference
by Molefi K. Asanta and Mark T. Mattson
Macmillam USA, Simon & Schuster, New York
ISBN 0-02-864984-2

To become a Chemist


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