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Linneaus Dorman

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Information about Linneaus Dorman

Profile image of Linneaus Dorman

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Chemist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown
Favorite Food:
Watermelon
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
I will study and prepare myself, then maybe, my chance will come.

Birthplace

Born:
6/28/1935
Birth Location:
Orangeburg, South Carolina

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Chemist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown
Favorite Food:
Watermelon
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
I will study and prepare myself, then maybe, my chance will come.

Birthplace

Born:
6/28/1935
Birth Location:
Orangeburg
See how Linneaus Dorman is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Organic chemist and inventor Linneaus C. Dorman was born on June 28, 1935 in Orangeburg, South Carolina to schoolteachers John Albert Dorman, Sr. and Georgia Hammond. Raised in the Jim Crow South, Dorman’s parents sent him to the historically black South Carolina State College laboratory school. The state college afforded him a better education than he would have received otherwise and nurtured his nascent interest in science. As a child, Dorman became fascinated with his friend’s chemistry set and the idea of creating new things. When he entered Wilkinson High School in 1948, his teachers immediately recognized his natural talent in science and encouraged him to take more science courses. This led him to declare chemistry as his undergraduate major after he graduated from high school.

In the fall of 1952, Dorman enrolled at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. Because his father was a World War I veteran, having served in France, Dorman received a scholarship from the small, private institution and its scholarship program for the children of World War I veterans. After receiving his B.S. degree in chemistry in 1956, Dorman enrolled in the organic chemistry Ph.D. program at Indiana University. During the summers, he traveled back to Peoria, where he gained invaluable research experience as a chemist for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) at the Northern Regional Research Laboratory. In 1961, he earned his Ph.D. degree and took a position as a research chemist at the Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan.

While Dorman has garnered a reputation for publishing many research articles in premier research journals, he has become most known for creating over twenty inventions and patents in organic chemistry and biomaterials. Many of his earliest patents involve synthesis methods in organic chemistry. In 1985, he invented a chemical compound that functioned as an absorbent that removed formaldehyde from the air. In 1992, Dorman invented a calcium phosphate biomaterial that was used in hard tissue prosthetics such as bone prosthetics in 1992. Between 1992 and 1993, he developed a new process for the controlled release of herbicides, this method became critical to crop rotation.

He joined the American Chemical Society (ACS) in 1957 and served in a number of administrative positions such as secretary, councilor, and director. Named Inventor of the Year by Dow Chemical Company in 1983, Dorman has been credited with over twenty inventions and patents in organic chemistry and biomaterials. He received the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers’ most prestigious award, the Percy C. Julian Award in 1992. Although he retired in 1994, Dorman continues to work in the scientific community as a mentor. He and his wife, Phae, live in Michigan and have two children, Evelyn and John.

Linneaus Dorman was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 24, 2012.

See how Linneaus Dorman is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Linneaus Dorman's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Linneaus Dorman lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Linneaus Dorman describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Linneaus Dorman describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Linneaus Dorman talks about his father's education and career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Linneaus Dorman talks about his parents and his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Linneaus Dorman describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Linneaus Dorman describes the neighborhood where he grew up in Orangeburg, South Carolina
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Linneaus Dorman describes the sights and sounds and smells of growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Linneaus Dorman describes growing up in Orangeburg, South Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Linneaus Dorman describes his elementary school experience at Middle Branch School and Felton Training School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Linneaus Dorman shares his childhood memories of World War II
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Linneaus Dorman describes his introduction to chemistry and his early interest in mathematics
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Linneaus Dorman talks about the prominent speakers who visited South Carolina State College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Linneaus Dorman talks about the first African American chemists
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Linneaus Dorman describes how his early thoughts about segregation served as a motivating force
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Linneaus Dorman describes his decision to attend Bradley University in 1952
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Linneaus Dorman describes his experience as a busboy at Carter Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Linneaus Dorman talks about the founder of Dow Chemical Company
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Linneaus Dorman describes the differences between the black communities in Orangeburg, South Carolina and in Peoria, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Linneaus Dorman describes how he met his wife, Thae
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Linneaus Dorman talks about Robert Lawrence, Jr. at Bradley University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Linneaus Dorman describes what influenced him to attend graduate school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Linneaus Dorman talks about Robert Lawrence, Jr.'s death and his legacy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Linneaus Dorman describes his extracurricular activities at Bradley University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Linneaus Dorman describes his experience as a doctoral student in the chemistry department at Indiana University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Linneaus Dorman talks about getting married and starting a family while in graduate school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Linneaus Dorman describes his summer research experience at the Northern Regional Research Laboratory
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Linneaus Dorman describes his work for his Ph.D. dissertation on heterocyclic compounds
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Linneaus Dorman describes his decision to work at Dow Chemical in Midland, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Linneaus Dorman describes his experience in Midland, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Linneaus Dorman describes his early work on pharmaceutical compounds
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Linneaus Dorman describes his work on synthesizing artificial bone material
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Linneaus Dorman describes thermoplastic elastomers
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Linneaus Dorman talks about Percy Julian, one of the first African American research chemists
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Linneaus Dorman talks about his activities in the community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Linneaus Dorman talks about travel
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Linneaus Dorman describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Linneaus Dorman talks about the importance of documentation and communication at the workplace
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Linneaus Dorman reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Linneaus Dorman talks about his children
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Linneaus Dorman describes how he dealt with the frustrations of science
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Linneaus Dorman describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Linneaus Dorman describes his photographs