Dr. Henry Aaron Hill

Dr. Henry Aaron Hill was the first Black president of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
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Degree(s): Chemistry, Organic Chemistry

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Undergraduate Institution: Johnson C. Smith University (HBCU)

Graduate Institution: MIT

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Photo Credit: Science History Institute

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Dr. Henry Aaron Hill was the first Black president of the American Chemical Society (ACS). One of Dr. Hill’s accomplishments with the ACS was establishing standards for employer-employee relationships in the chemical profession. Dr. Hill often discussed his struggles with racism in the field, and he noted that he submitted over 50 applications after earning his Ph.D. from MIT before he was offered his first position at North Atlantic Research, Corporation. While there, he investigated and developed water-based paints, firefighting foam, and several types of synthetic rubber. Dr. Hill eventually founded National Polychemicals, Inc. and Riverside Research Laboratories.

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