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In 1925, Elbert Frank Cox became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics. He taught for 40 years and inspired future Black mathematicians.
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After earning his degree, Cox taught at West Virginia State College and then at Howard University, where he remained until his retirement in 1965. Ten years later, the Howard University Mathematics Department established the Elbert F. Cox Scholarship Fund to encourage young Black undergraduates to pursue mathematic studies at the graduate level. Cox died on November 28, 1969, and though he did not live to see his scholarship or the Ph. D. program launched, it is certain that it was he who made it possible.
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