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John R. Cooper
*John R. Cooper was born on this date in 1930. He was a Black chemist, community leader, and inventor. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Cooper was educated in Wyoming, Ohio, Public Schools.
He graduated from high school in 1948, was a National Merit Scholar, president of his senior class, Band clarinetist, and member of the “Wyoming Cowboys” football team. He married his wife Lula in 1954 after he earned a Bachelor of Science from Yale University in 1952. and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati (1956).
Called 'Dick,' Cooper worked as a chemist for E.I. Du Pont de Nemours, Chemical Department. He was appointed superintendent of the elastomers chemical department in Deepwater, New Jersey, from 1956 to 1965 and supervisor of the Fluoroelastomer Division from 1965 to 1969. He supervised a staff of twenty-five chemists and engineers who researched and developed new treatments for synthetic rubber.
Dr. Cooper has several patents in developing fluorine-rubber compounds resistant to heat, with applications for seals in jet engines. The Cooper Family of three then moved to Wilmington, Delaware, where Dick worked thirty-five years at the E. I. DuPont Company. He had seventeen patents as Director of Environmental Affairs. He ran their Research and Development Division from 1969 until his retirement.
In 1992, he moved to Prescott and, as a volunteer, chaired the Boards of SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), the ADULT CENTER, and the PUBLIC ACCESS CHANNEL. He helped raise funding for the NATURE CENTER and the Adult Center. As City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tempore, he worked with Prescott’s Fire Department, helped solve Citizens’ concerns, especially the Sandretto Hills drainage problem, represented Prescott at the “Sister Cities” activities in Caborca, Mexico, and served as a member of NACOG (Northern Arizona Council of Governments) Board. When he ran for Mayor, Dick’s slogan was “He Puts People First.” John R. Cooper died on August 4, 2016.