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Jeannette Brown

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Information about Jeannette Brown

Profile image of Jeannette Brown

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Organic Chemist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Ice Cream
Favorite Time of Year:
Winter
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
101 years ago.

Birthplace

Born:
5/13/1934
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Organic Chemist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Ice Cream
Favorite Time of Year:
Winter
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
101 years ago.

Birthplace

Born:
5/13/1934
Birth Location:
New York
See how Jeannette Brown is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Organic chemist and historian, Jeannette E. Brown was born in Bronx, New York on May 13, 1934 to Freddie Brown, a building superintendant and Ada Brown. At age six, Brown was inspired by her family doctor, Arthur C. Logan, to pursue a career in science. Brown graduated from New Dorp High School on Staten Island in 1952 and in 1956, she received her B.S. degree in chemistry from Hunter College as one of two African Americans in the first class of Hunter College's new chemistry program. Brown then earned her M.S. degree in organic chemistry in 1958 from the University of Minnesota and was the first African American female to do so. Her thesis was entitled, “Study of Dye and Ylide Formation in Salts of 9-(P-dimethylaminophenyl) Flourene.”

After earning her M.S. degree, Brown joined CIBA Pharmaceutical Company as a research chemist, where she developed drugs for diseases such as tuberculosis and coccidiosis, which afflicts chickens. In 1969, Brown was hired by Merck & Co. Research Laboratories where she continued synthesizing compounds for testing as potential new drugs. In 1986, she was appointed chairperson of the Project SEED Committee for the American Chemical Society. She served on the faculty at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) from 1993 to 2002 as a visiting professor of chemistry and faculty associate. Beginning in 1998, Brown also served as the regional director of the New Jersey Statewide System Initiative, improving science education in Essex and Hudson counties. In 2008, Brown contributed seven biographies of African American chemists for the African American National Biography, including those of Dr. Marie Daly and Dr. Jennie Patrick, the first African American women to receive their Ph.D. degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering, respectively. She went on to publish her own book in 2011 entitled, African American Women Chemists .

Brown has received recognition including outstanding alumni awards from both Hunter College and the University of Minnesota. Throughout her career, she has been involved in countless professional societies including the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCCHE) and the American Chemical Society (ACS). In 2007, Brown was an Association of Women in Science (AWIS) fellow. She also earned recognition as an American Chemical Society fellow and a Chemical Heritage Foundation Ullyott Scholar.

Jeannette Brown was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on 01/16/2012.

See how Jeannette Brown is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jeannette Brown's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jeannette Brown lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jeannette Brown describes her mother's history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jeannette Brown talks about her mother's education and work experience
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jeannette Brown describes her father's history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jeannette Brown talks about racism in North Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jeannette Brown discusses her father's education and work experience
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jeannette Brown describes her parents' early life together
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jeannette Brown describes her relationship with her parents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jeannette Brown talks about her relationship with her father
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jeannette Brown remembers the her early childhood years
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jeannette Brown talks about having tuberculosis and her early interest in science
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jeannette Brown reminisces about her early school days in New York, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jeannette Brown talks about Winthrop Junior High School and growing up in New York's Flatbush area
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jeannette Brown remembers her time at Prospect Heights High School and New Dorp High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jeannette Brown talks about her study of science in high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jeannette Brown talks about preparing for college and deciding which college to attend
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jeannette Brown talks about studying chemistry at Hunter College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jeannette Brown talks about why she chose to attend graduate school at the University of Minnesota
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jeannette Brown discusses her research and her discovery of liquid crystals
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jeannette Brown remembers the racial climate in Minnesota in 1958
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jeannette Brown describes attitudes about blacks and women at University of Minnesota in the 1950s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jeannette Brown talks about her days in the laboratory at Ciba Pharmaceuticals
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jeannette Brown talks about the history of the United States chemical industry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jeannette Brown tells about her career at Merck Pharmaceuticals
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jeannette Brown describes her work on Primaxin at Merck Pharmaceuticals
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jeannette Brown reflects on her work as a chemist in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jeannette Brown talks about NOBCChE, Dr. Marie Daley, and her interest in history
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jeannette Brown talks about her difficulty at Merck Pharmaceuticals, including an adverse physical reaction
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jeannette Brown describes the atmosphere at Merck Pharmaceuticals and mentoring other black female chemists
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jeannette Brown talks about her work at Merck Pharmaceuticals to attract more African Americans chemists
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jeannette Brown talks about students she met at Grambling State University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jeannette Brown talks about her induction into Iota Sigma Pi Honor Society
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jeannette Brown talks about her work with the American Chemical Society and economically disadvantaged youth
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jeannette Brown talks about her work with the National Science Foundation
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jeannette Brown discusses the Percy Julian Task Force and the research for her book
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jeannette Brown talks about the female scientists featured in her book about Africaa American Female Chemists
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Jeannette Brown shares the response to her book and need for science education
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Jeannette Brown talks about the need for quality science education
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Jeannette Brown reflects on the ethical responsibility of chemists
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Jeannette Brown talks about her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Jeannette Brown reflects on her career, her successes, and her legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Jeannette Brown talks about her family life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Jeannette Brown talks about her hobbies
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Jeannette Brown tells how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Jeannette Brown shares photos