The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Fillmore Freeman

Share on Social Media

Information about Fillmore Freeman

Profile image of Fillmore Freeman

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Organic Chemist
Chemistry Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Earth Tones
Favorite Food:
All Food
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Paris, France, Berlin, Germany, Spain
Favorite Quote:
The time before memories.

Birthplace

Born:
4/10/1936
Birth Location:
Lexington, Mississippi

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Organic Chemist
Chemistry Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Earth Tones
Favorite Food:
All Food
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Paris, France, Berlin, Germany, Spain
Favorite Quote:
The time before memories.

Birthplace

Born:
4/10/1936
Birth Location:
Lexington
See how Fillmore Freeman is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Organic chemist and chemistry professor Fillmore Freeman was born in 1936 in Lexington, Mississippi. Freeman earned his high school diploma from John Marshall High School in Chicago, Illinois in 1953. In 1957, he graduated summa cum laude from Central State College in Wilberforce, Ohio, with his B.S. degree, and then went on to pursue his graduate studies at Michigan State University, where he received his Ph.D. degree in physical organic chemistry in 1962.

After a brief stint working with a private firm, Freeman served as a National Institutes of Health Fellow at Yale University in 1964. The following year, he became an assistant professor of at California State University at Long Beach. During this time, the school expanded its chemistry and biochemistry programs to accommodate the growing interest in these fields. In 1973, Freeman became a professor of chemistry at the University of California at Irvine, where he continued to work for the duration of his professional career. With his background in physical organic chemistry, Freeman has conducted research on a number of topics, including organic synthesis pathways and reactions, particularly those of cyclic compounds. His research has also relied heavily on the use of computational chemistry. In 1991, Freeman was the recipient of a grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the biochemical properties of allicin, a component of garlic chemistry. Freeman’s work has had a strong emphasis in isolating, researching and synthesizing compounds with anti-tumor and anti-viral properties.

Freeman has received much recognition for his work in the field of physical organic chemistry. He was named an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellow and a Fulbright-Hayes Senior Research Fellow. He also had the opportunity to serve as a visiting professor at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry and the University of Paris. Author of numerous academic papers, Freeman was identified as the third most highly cited African American chemist in a 2002 report by Oklahoma State University.

Fillmore Freeman was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 29, 2011.

See how Fillmore Freeman is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Fillmore Freeman's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Fillmore Freeman lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Fillmore Freeman describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Fillmore Freeman describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Fillmore Freeman talks about segregation and slavery in Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his paternal family owning land in Mississippi, and his father's role as a Baptist minister
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his father's training to become a Baptist minister
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his parents moving to Chicago, his mother's death, his father remarrying, and his four siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Fillmore Freeman talks about the socio-economic dynamics of skin color in the African American community
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Fillmore Freeman lists his siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Fillmore Freeman describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Fillmore Freeman talks about moving to Chicago when he was five years old, and his early experience there
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Fillmore Freeman describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Chicago
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Fillmore Freeman talks about the Chicago public school system, and the condition of the city's housing projects in the 1940s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Fillmore Freeman describes his experience in Catholic school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Fillmore Freeman talks about gang activity in Chicago in the 1940s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Fillmore Freeman talks about leaving Chicago in 1953
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Fillmore Freeman talks about graduating from elementary school and attending high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Fillmore Freeman talks about attending his father's church as a child, and his perspective on religion
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his parents' employment in Chicago
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his jobs as a youngster in Chicago
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Fillmore Freeman describes his experience in high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Fillmore Freeman talks about Maxwell Street in Chicago
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Fillmore Freeman talks about playing basketball in high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his academic performance in high school and the pressures of life for African Americans who lived in the housing projects
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Fillmore Freeman describes his studies and his extracurricular activities in high school
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Fillmore Freeman describes his decision to attend Central State University, and his involvement in the ROTC Program
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his professors at Central State University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Fillmore Freeman talks about Charles Wesley, HistoryMaker, Alice Windom, and segregation in Wilberforce and Xenia, Ohio in the 1950s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Fillmore Freeman describes his decision to pursue a doctoral degree at Michigan State University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Fillmore Freeman describes his Ph.D. dissertation on tetracyanocyclopropanes chemistry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Fillmore Freeman talks about the interest in cyclopropane chemistry in the 1950s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Fillmore Freeman describes being involved in a serious laboratory accident at Michigan State University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his recovery from a serious laboratory accident in 1959 - part one
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Fillmore Freeman talks about meeting his wife in Chicago, and getting married in 1959
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his recovery from a serious laboratory accident in 1959 - part two
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Fillmore Freeman describes his decision to work at Standard Oil of California, and his experience there
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Fillmore Freeman describes his experience as a postdoctoral researcher at Yale University and his decision to work at California State University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Fillmore Freeman talks about the lack of African American faculty and students at the University of California, Irvine
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his sabbatical at the University of Paris, and accepting a tenured position at the University of California, Irvine
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Fillmore Freeman describes his research on using chemical compounds to combat Chagas disease
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his involvement with NOBCChE
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Fillmore Freeman describes his experience in Paris in 1972
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Fillmore Freeman describes the university system in California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his early research in synthetic organic chemistry, screening chemical compounds against HIV, and his work on carbenes
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his sabbatical at the University of Illinois, Chicago in 1976
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his experience on sabbatical at the University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Fillmore Freeman describes his experience at the Max Planck Institute in Germany and at Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles in France
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Fillmore Freeman talks about the African American demographics at the University of California, Irvine
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Fillmore Freeman talks about serving as a visiting scientist and program director of organic and macromolecular chemistry at the NSF in 1989
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Fillmore Freeman describes his research in the area of organosulfur chemistry, and his collaboration with Professor Eloy Rodriguez
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Fillmore Freeman talks about the health benefits of garlic and its component compounds - part one
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Fillmore Freeman talks about the health benefits of garlic and its component compounds - part two
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his report on the properties of di-tert-butyl chromate in the Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Fillmore Freeman talks about the dwindling number of African American faculty in chemistry departments across the United States
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Fillmore Freeman describes the field of computational chemistry, and its applications in medicine and in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Fillmore Freeman shares his perspectives on the impact of computers on society and the future of physical organic chemistry
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his work to promote undergraduate chemistry research and his goals for the future
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Fillmore Freeman reflects upon his career and his legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Fillmore Freeman talks about his hobbies
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Fillmore Freeman shares how he would like to be remembered