Dr. Elbert Cox

Dr. Elbert Cox is the first Black person to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics (1925).

Degree(s): Mathematics

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Undergraduate Institution:  Indiana University

Graduate Institution:  Cornell University

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Photo Credit: Cornell University

Dr. Elbert Cox is the first Black person to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics (1925). After graduating, he began his career as the chair of the Mathematics and Physics Department at West Virginia State College. He then transitioned to Howard University, where he served as a professor and chair of the Mathematics Department until his retirement.

Fun Fact: At one point during his tenure at Howard University, Dr. Cox was joined by department colleagues Dr. Dudley Woodard and Dr. Walter Claytor, the second and third Black person to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics, respectively.

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