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Clayton W. Bates, Jr.

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Information about Clayton W. Bates, Jr.

Profile image of Clayton W. Bates, Jr.

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Electrical Engineer
Physicist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Europe
Favorite Quote:
I believe that there are greater things in life than life itself. I believe in climbing upward even when the spent and broken thing called my body calls halt.

Birthplace

Born:
9/5/1932
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Electrical Engineer
Physicist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Europe
Favorite Quote:
I believe that there are greater things in life than life itself. I believe in climbing upward even when the spent and broken thing called my body calls halt.

Birthplace

Born:
9/5/1932
Birth Location:
New York
See how Clayton W. Bates, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Electrical engineer and physicist Clayton W. Bates, Jr. was born on September 5, 1932 in New York City, where he attended elementary school at New York Public School 119 and middle school at New York Junior High School 43. Bates earned his high school diploma from the all-boys Brooklyn Technical High School in 1950 where he was a member of the baseball, basketball, and track teams. As a young boy, he also enjoyed playing baseball and basketball in his Harlem neighborhood where he lived with his mother and older sister, Barbara. Bates' parents, Arline and Clayton Bates, Sr., divorced when he was a young teenager. Bates' love affair with science and engineering began early; as a youngster he enjoyed building model planes and dreamed of becoming a pilot.

From 1950 to 1954, Bates attended Manhattan College on a full academic scholarship where he received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering. Bates went on to earn his M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. He then received a fellowship from Harvard University where he earned his second M.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1960. Bates went on to study at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri where he received his Ph.D. degree in physics in 1966.

Following graduation, Bates worked for several engineering and scientific companies including Varian Associates, AVCO, Sylvania Electric Products, the Ford Instrument Company, and RCA. His projects ranged from low-level light detection and x-ray image intensification to the design of the nuclear reactor controls of the first SEA WOLF, the second atomic powered submarine. In 1972, Bates left Varian and accepted a position in Stanford University’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Bates continued to work at Stanford for the next twenty-two years where he helped to organize the Society of Black Scientists and Engineers. In 1984, Bates accepted the position of associate dean for graduate education and research in Howard University’s College of Engineering, Architecture, and Computer Sciences. Throughout his career, Bates authored numerous publications. He has been committed to increasing the number of African Americans in STEM fields and improving scientific research at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Bates and his wife, Priscilla, raised three children: Katherine, Christopher and Naomi.

Clayton W. Bates, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 5, 2005.

See how Clayton W. Bates, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Clayton W. Bates, Jr.'s interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. shares his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. talks about his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. talks about his father's side of the family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. shares early childhood memories of his parents and holidays
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. describes his New York community
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. talks about his elementary school experience and interest in science
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. talks about his conversion to Catholicism
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. talks about his interest in engineering in junior high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. talks about Brooklyn Technical High School and his aspiration to become an engineer
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. talks about his experience at Manhattan College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. talks about working at RCA and earning his master's degree
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. talks about his transition from engineering to physics
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. talks about earning his Ph.D. degree in physics from Washington University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. talks about working at Sylvania Electric Products and Varian Associates
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. talks about his wife and his work at Stanford University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. discusses the importance of the Society of Black Scientists and Engineers at Stanford University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. discusses important issues for the African American scientific community
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. talks about his transition from Stanford University to Howard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. remembers his students and shares advice
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. describes his career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. reflects on his career path and his life choices
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. talks about his children and their professions
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. discusses his accomplishments in science and in life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. reflects on his life and discusses the importance of history in the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Clayton W. Bates, Jr. describes his photos