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William Davis

Research chemist and chemistry professor William C. Davis was born on August 22, 1926 in Waycross Georgia to parents Kenice and Laura Jane Davis. In 1941, Davis moved to New York City to live with his brother, Ossie Davis, and attend college. Following graduation from Dwight High School in 1945, Davis attended City College of New York and New York University before enrolling at Talladega College in Florida. Davis left school and briefly served as second lieutenant of engineers in the Korean War. Returning to Talladega College after the War, Davis earned his B.S. degree in chemistry in 1956. Davis went on to earn his M.S. degree in organic chemistry from Tuskegee Institute in 1958 and his Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from the University of Idaho in 1965.

Upon graduation, Davis was appointed research director at Physicians Medical Laboratories. As director, Davis is credited with discoveries leading to or improving numerous amenities, among them the potato chip, the instant mashed potato, soft serve ice cream, and the organic glue that holds together wood-chip and particle board. Davis’ research has been public in academic journals such as, Journal of Medical Technology and European Journal of Pharmacology. From 1974 to 1975, Davis continued research as a visiting scientist at the George Hyman Research Institute in Washington, D.C.; and again between 1976 and 1982 when he was a research associate at the University of Texas Health Science Center. Davis was named full professor of chemistry at St. Philip's College in 1995. In addition he served as chair of the Natural Sciences Department and director of Renewable Energy. When Davis retired in August 2009, he was named professor emeritus of the natural science department; and, the science building at St. Philip's College was named in his honor.

Davis professional and academic affiliations include the American Chemical Society, the Health Physicist Society, the Society of Nuclear Medicine, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His is a recipient of Tuskegee Institute’s George Washington Carver Fellowship, the U.S. Armed Force’s Purple Heart Medal, and was inducted to the Texas Hall of Fame in 2000.

Davis and his wife, Ocia, live in San Antonio, Texas. They have two children: Mark Alan and Cheryl Elise.

William C. Davis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 1, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.029

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/30/2013 |and| 2/1/2013

Last Name

Davis

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Conan

Schools

Tuskegee University

Talladega College

City College of New York

Dwight High School, Manhattan

Dasher High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Waycross

HM ID

DAV28

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Waycross, Georgia

Favorite Quote

You never could tell what thoughts and actions would do in bringing you hate or love. For thoughts of things will have wings and they will travel like a carrier dove. Each thing must creates it's kind as it travels over the track to bring back whatever is left out of your mind.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

8/22/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

San Antonio

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Rice, Chicken, Green Beans

Short Description

Chemist and chemistry professor William Davis (1926 - ) is professor emeritus of the natural science department at St. Philip's College.

Employment

St. Phillips College

Immutech, Inc.

University of Texas Health Science Center

College of Naturopathy

Warner Pacific College

United Medical Laboratories

University of Washington

Favorite Color

Brown

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William Davis' interview - part one

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William Davis lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about his mother's family background, part 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about his mother's family background, part 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about his mother's growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William Davis talks about his mother's interests and educational aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William Davis talks about his father's family background - part one

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William Davis talks about his father's family background - part two

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William Davis talks about his father and his business relationship with Alex Sessoms

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about his father's education and his grandfather's religious affiliation

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about his parents and his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about his brother and his father's influence, part 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William Davis talks about his brother and his father's influence, part 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William Davis talks about his father's social beliefs

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William Davis talks about his siblings

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William Davis describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about his childhood home in Georgia and remembers his Ethiopian family's visits

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William Davis describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about his father's business and his attitude towards white people

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about Fonza Curry's involvement in a plot to kill his father, Kince Davis - part one

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William Davis talks about Fonza Curry's involvement in a plot to kill his father, Kince Davis - part two

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William Davis talks about the schools that he and his siblings attended

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William Davis talks about his grammar school teachers, music, and his principal

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about his childhood fascination with his father's profession as an herbalist

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about his favorite grade school teachers

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about his performance in grade school

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about why his high school ended at grade eleven

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William Davis talks about visiting the Tuskegee Institute

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William Davis talks about meeting George Washington Carver and his father's interests in plants

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William Davis talks about his father's cars, Henry Ford, and traveling to Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about his science instruction at Dasher High School

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about his decision to finish high school in New York and his brother, Ossie Davis' interest in the theatre

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about his academics and his overall experience at Dwight High School

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about his mentor, Jake Fishman, and his interest in the relationship between science, religion and philosophy

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William Davis talks about his teachers at the City College of New York and his decision to transfer to Talladega College

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about his experience at Talladega College and being drafted into the U.S. Army

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about his interest in music, his appreciation of Albert Schweitzer, and his experience in Germany

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about his experience in the U.S. Army and his interest in music

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - William Davis reflects on his experience at Talladega College

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - William Davis talks about his academics and his professors at Talladega College

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about his mentor, Dr. Clarence T. Mason

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about one of his peers' views on space colonization

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about his research and his decision to continue his graduate studies in Idaho, part 1

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about his research and his decision to continue his graduate studies in Idaho, part 2

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - William Davis talks about his journey from Alabama to Idaho

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - William Davis talks about traveling through Utah and his attempt to visit the Mormon Tabernacle

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about his journey to Washington State University

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about his experience in Idaho

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about his research at Washington State University - part one

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about his research at Washington State University - part two

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - William Davis talks about the research philosophy of scientists

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Slating of William Davis' interview - part two

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about the space colonization theory and Dr. Wernher von Braun

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about meeting Albert Schweitzer and his interest in playing the organ

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about his doctoral research on potatoes

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about his clinical research at a mail-order laboratory with Dr. Roy M. Chatters

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - William Davis talks about how he became a health physicist and nuclear chemist

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - William Davis talks about his certification in medical technology and his publication on blood tests

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - William Davis talks about the controversy regarding the clinical research at United Medical Labs

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about the establishment of the Albina Healthcare Center, and his work with the Black Panthers

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about his professional activities - part one

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about health care providers

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about his professional activities - part two

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - William Davis talks about working with Dr. Lehman

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about working with Dr. Lehman in the hospital setting

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about his interest in teaching and how he was introduced to St. Philips College

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about his research on the psychoactive drug, Valium

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about his professional activities, part 3

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - William Davis talks about St. Philips College

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - William Davis talks about the demographics of St. Philips College

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - William Davis talks about the Penta Water Company

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about the molecular theory and processing of the Penta Water

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - William Davis talks about the unique chemical properties of kinetic water

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - William Davis talks about presenting his research to the community

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - William Davis explains the processes of osmosis, osmotic pressure, and isotonicity

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - William Davis talks about the benefits of kinetic water and the tendencies of nature

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - William Davis talks about nature, and considers the implications of Hurricane Sandy not destroying churches

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - William Davis talks about having a building named in his honor at St. Philips College

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - William Davis describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 13 Story: 4 - William Davis reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 13 Story: 5 - William Davis talks about his family

Tape: 13 Story: 6 - William Davis reflects upon his life choices and talks about his musical interests

Tape: 13 Story: 7 - William Davis talks about how he would like to be remembered