The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon

Search Results

Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Samuel Massie

Share on Social Media

Information about Samuel Massie

Profile image of Samuel Massie

Interview Date

July 19, 2003

Profession

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

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Navy Blue
Favorite Food:
Watermelon, Chicken
Favorite Quote:
Do the best you can with what you have.

Birthplace

Born:
7/3/1919
Birth Location:
Little Rock, Arkansas

Interview Date

July 19, 2003

Profession

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

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Navy Blue
Favorite Food:
Watermelon, Chicken
Favorite Quote:
Do the best you can with what you have.

Birthplace

Born:
7/3/1919
Birth Location:
Little Rock
See how Samuel Massie is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Organic Chemist Samuel Massie was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, on July 3, 1919; his mother, a teacher, and his father, a minister, instilled in him a love of education. By the age of thirteen, Massie had graduated from high school. Because he was denied admittance to the University of Arkansas because of his race, Massie went on to attend Agricultural Mechanical Normal College of Arkansas. He then attended Fisk University before being accepted to Iowa State University, where he received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry.

Massie attended Iowa State University at the height of World War II; during this time, he was summoned before the draft board. Massie was allowed to return to school, but he was assigned to the Manhattan Project, the program that created the first atomic bomb. After completing his Ph.D., Massie returned to Fisk University to teach; it was here that he met his future wife, Gloria. Over the years, Massie held positions at Langston University, Howard University, and the National Science Foundation. In 1963, Massie was named president of the University of North Carolina Central.

In 1966, Massie became the first African American professor at the U.S. Naval Academy; he then served as chair of the chemistry department from 1977 to 1981. In 1994, Massie retired from the Naval Academy, though he retained the title professor emeritus.

Massie was awarded with an NAACP Freedom Fund Award; a White House Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award; and was named one of the seventy-five outstanding scientists in the country by Chemical and Engineering News Magazine. Massie was also involved with the Smithsonian Institute, and spent more than two decades on the Maryland State Board for Community Colleges.

Samuel Massie passed away on April 10, 2005, three months after the passing of his wife, Gloria.

See how Samuel Massie is related to other HistoryMakers
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!