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Mon, 04.15.1912

Jasper Jeffries, Physicist born

Jasper Jefferies

*Jasper B Jeffries was born on this date in 1912.  He was a Black physicist and teacher. 

Jasper Brown Jeffries was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the eldest child of Brown and Edna Jeffries, Jasper had three younger brothers, Carl, Hubert, and Robert.  Jeffries earned his B.S. degree in 1933 from West Virginia State College located in Institute, West Virginia.

While attending West Virginia State College, Jeffries enrolled in classes taught by Dr. Angie Turner King who represented the small numbers of Black women earning graduate degrees in the STEM fields during this time period.  In 1937, Jeffries married Marguerite Diffay, a native of Birmingham, Alabama. Diffay earned a degree from Fisk University and a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) from the University of Chicago.  The Jeffries had three daughters, Edna, Hazel, Marguerite, and a son, Jasper Brown III. 

Jeffries briefly attended the University of Illinois and later earned his M.S. degree in physical sciences from the University of Chicago in 1940.  Jeffries worked as a physicist on the Manhattan Project (Metallurgical Laboratory) between 1943 and 1946 at the University of Chicago. Other Black scientists hired at the Chicago laboratory included Harold Delaney, Moddie Taylor, and Benjamin F. Scott. The Manhattan Project led to the development of the atomic bomb which ended World War II. 

Jeffries also served as a Professor and Chair in the Department of Physics at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University.  For almost a decade, Jeffries worked as a Senior Engineer for the Control Instrument Company located in New York. From 1963 to 1971, Jeffries worked as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Westchester Community College in Valhalla, N.Y. In 1971, Jeffries was promoted to Professor and became Chair of the department.  Jasper Brown Jeffries died on July 16, 1994 in White Plains, New York. He was 82. 

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