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Lafayette Frederick

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Information about Lafayette Frederick

Profile image of Lafayette Frederick

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Botanist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
A Wise Old Owl Lived In An Oak. The More He Saw The Less He Spoke. The Less He Spoke The More He Heard. Why Can't We All Be Like That Wise Old Bird?

Birthplace

Born:
3/19/1923
Birth Location:
Dog Bog, Mississippi

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Botanist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown
Favorite Food:
Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii
Favorite Quote:
A Wise Old Owl Lived In An Oak. The More He Saw The Less He Spoke. The Less He Spoke The More He Heard. Why Can't We All Be Like That Wise Old Bird?

Birthplace

Born:
3/19/1923
Birth Location:
Dog Bog
See how Lafayette Frederick is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Botanist Lafayette Frederick was born on March 9, 1923 in Dog Bog, Mississippi. Frederick’s interest in botany began as an undergraduate student at Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) where he was inspired by the famous botanist and plant chemist George Washington Carver. After earning his B.S. degree in biology from Tuskegee Institute in 1943 and his M.S. degree in botany from the University of Rhode Island in 1950, Frederick went on to graduate from Washington State University with his Ph.D. degree in plant pathology and botany. His doctoral thesis focused on spore development in fungi, systematics and ecology of the myxomycetes, and the Dutch elm disease.

Upon completion of his postdoctoral studies at Cornell University, the University of Illinois and the University of Michigan, Fredrick was hired as an assistant professor at Southern University in the biology department. There, he developed a botany concentration during his ten years at the school. He also developed a botany concentration at Atlanta University, where he chaired the biology department during his fourteen-year tenure. In 1958, Frederick was responsible for integrating the Association of Southeastern Biologists meeting, which had not allowed its African American members to attend. He also served as director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Academic Year Institute for Science Teachers. Frederick worked on several projects that involved studies on antifungal substances of a strain of bacterium. In 1976, Frederick was hired by Howard University where he went on to serve as a professor and chairman in the department of botany, acting dean for the College of Liberal Arts, and emeritus professor of biology.

Among Frederick’s honors are an Honorary Doctorate of Science degree in botany and a Distinguished Alumni Award, from the University of Rhode Island; the Botanical Society of America Merit Award; the NSF Education and Human Resources Directorate Lifetime Achievement Award; the American Association for the Advancement of Science Lifetime Mentor Award; and a Tuskegee Institute Distinguished Alumni Merit Award. A species of Hawaiian shrub, Cyrtandra Frederickii, was named in his honor by Harold St. John, former chairman of the University of Hawaii department of botany.

Lafayette Fredrick was interviewed on The HistoryMakers on December 12, 2012.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lafayette Frederick's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lafayette Frederick lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lafayette Frederick describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lafayette Frederick describes his maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lafayette Frederick talks about his parents' role as teachers
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lafayette Frederick describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lafayette Frederick describes his paternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lafayette Frederick talks about his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lafayette Frederick describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lafayette Frederick describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lafayette Frederick describes his siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lafayette Frederick describes his earliest memory of growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lafayette Frederick talks about Hayti, Missouri
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lafayette Frederick talks about his elementary school, Dunbar Elementary School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lafayette Frederick describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lafayette Frederick describes his elementary school education pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lafayette Frederick describes his elementary school education pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lafayette Frederick talks about the influence of newspapers and radio durin his childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lafayette Frederick talks about the influence of radio and his interest in baseball
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lafayette Frederick describes his high school education pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lafayette Frederick describes his high school education pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lafayette Frederick describes his interest in botany
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lafayette Frederick talks about George Washington Carver
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lafayette Frederick describes being the valedictorian of his high school class
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lafayette Frederick describes attending Tuskegee University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lafayette Frederick describes the biology laboratory class that he taught while a sophomore at Tuskegee University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lafayette Frederick describes first seeing George Washington Carver
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lafayette Frederick describes George Washington Carver
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lafayette Frederick talks about his mentor at Tuskegee University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lafayette Frederick talks about professors who worked with George Washington Carver at Tuskegee University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lafayette Frederick talks about Dr. Charles Gomillion and his work on voter rights
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lafayette Frederick talks about people he met at Tuskegee University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lafayette Frederick describes being drafted while at Tuskegee University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lafayette Frederick talks about the Tuskegee Airmen
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lafayette Frederick describes his employment on a turkey farm after graduating from Tuskegee University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lafayette Frederick talks about being drafted into the U.S. Navy during World War II
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lafayette Frederick talks about the atomic bombing of Japan during World War II
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lafayette Frederick talks about being a draftsman in the Navy pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lafayette Frederick talks about being a draftsman in the Navy pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lafayette Frederick describes his part-time graduate work at the University of Hawaii
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lafayette Frederick talks about his thesis advisors at the University of Rhode Island
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lafayette Frederick describes his research on Dutch elm disease pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lafayette Frederick describes his Master's thesis on Dutch elm disease
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lafayette Frederick talks about his doctoral research at Washington State University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lafayette Frederick talks about becoming a professor at Southern University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lafayette Frederick describes how he met his wife
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lafayette Frederick talks about creating the botany major at Southern University
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lafayette Frederick describes his time as a professor at Southern University
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Lafayette Frederick describes why he left Southern University to teach at Atlanta University
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Lafayette Frederick describes organizing a faculty statement of disapproval against Southern University's president
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Lafayette Frederick describes the expulsion of student demonstrators from Southern University
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Lafayette Frederick talks about Felton G. Clark, Southern University's president
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Lafayette Frederick talks about the student protests at Southern University
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Lafayette Frederick talks about his students at Atlanta University
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Lafayette Frederick describes his research at Atlanta University
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Lafayette Frederick talks about taking students to scientific conferences
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Lafayette Frederick describes integrating the Association of Southeastern Biologists
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Lafayette Frederick talks about teaching at Howard University and the University of Georgia
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Lafayette Frederick describes returning to Tuskegee University to teach
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Lafayette Frederick describes his current research at Tuskegee University
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Lafayette Frederick reflects on his legacy
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Lafayette Frederick talks about his family
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Lafayette Frederick describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Lafayette Frederick talks about attending scientific conferences
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Lafayette Frederick talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Lafayette Frederick describes his photographs