Lloyd Noel Ferguson (Chemist)

Lloyd Noel Ferguson was an American chemist. As a child in Oakland, California, Ferguson had a backyard laboratory in which he developed a moth repellent, a silverware cleanser, and a lemonade powder. He graduated from Oakland Technical High School in 1934 at the age of 16. After working in construction and as a railway porter in order to earn enough money to pay for college, he did his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley and received a Ph.D. from the same university in 1943, the first African American to earn a chemistry Ph.D. there. During his time at Berkeley, Ferguson worked with Melvin Calvin on the synthesis of Schiff base ligands used to form transition metal complexes that mimic the oxygen-carrying ability of biological proteins.