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Elbert Frank Cox Biography
He was the 1st African American to earn a Ph.D. in Mathematics (Cornell University, 1925), just 39 years right after Cornell gave its very first Ph.D. in Mathematics (1886).In September 1925, Cox became the head of the mathematics and physics division at West Virginia State College. He stayed there four years and in 1929 moved to Howard University. Cox remained at Howard until his retirement in 1965 and served as chairmen of the Mathematics Division from 1957-1961. In 1975 the Howard University Mathematics Department at the time of the inauguration of the Ph.D. plan, established the Elbert F. Cox Scholarship Fund for undergraduate mathematics majors to encourage you, Black students, to study mathematics at the graduate level.
His Ph.D. at this time was outstanding, as no spot or institution was a buddy to Negroes. Certainly, there have been just 28 Ph.D.’s in Mathematics awarded in all the nation in 1925, but 31 black males had been lynched that year. For several years Dr. Cox taught at Howard University (1929-1961) along with the second and third African American Mathematics Ph.D., Dudley Woodard and Walter Claytor, and later with mathematicians George Butcher and David Blackwell. Hence, Howard really leads the Historically Black Colleges and Universities as the principal location of finding out. This strength readily incorporated a graduate mathematics system at Howard.Elbert Cox married Beulah P. Kaufman, an elementary school teacher, on September 14, 1927. They had 3 sons, James, Eugene, and Elbert. Following a brief illness.
Cox died at Cafritz Memorial Hospital on November 28, 1969. In 1980, the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM) honored Cox with the inauguration of the Cox-Talbot Address which is provided annually at NAM’s National Meeting.
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