Lloyd Kenneth Williams

Born: October 6, 1925 in Bennington, Oklahoma

Died: November 18, 2001

BA (1948) University of California at Berkeley; MA (1949) University of California at Berkeley.

Ph.D. (1956) at the University of California at Berkeley.
thesis: On Separating Transcendency Bases; Advisor: Abraham Seidenberg

In 1999, he retired as Full Professor from Texas Southern University

LLOYD KENNETH WILLIAMS was born, the second of three sons to migrant workers Coy and Corinne Williams in Bennington, Oklahoma. He was raised by his mother and stepfather L. D. James. For as long as he could remember, he was fascinated by numbers. But he had to endure poverty and enormous discrimination and personal tragedy.

Williams attended Turner Industrial School, Grandfield, Oklahoma, grades 1 through 10. He attended Boyd High School, grades 11 and 12, graduating in 1942. He attended Langston University, Langston, Oklahoma, 1942-1944. In World War II, Williams joined the U.S. Navy (1944 - 1946). After the Navy, Williams entered the University of California, Berkeley, California in 1946 and earned his B. A. and M. A. in 1948 and 1949, respectively. After earning his Masters Degree he moved to Texas to teach at Prairie View College, where he subsequently met his wife, Wilmoth Loper, then Dean of Prairie View's School of Nursing.

Williams returned to San Francisco for graduate school in mathematics at Berkeley and to teach at the University of San Francisco. In 1956 he earned his Ph.D., after which Dr. Williams was employed as Mathematics Instructor at Prairie View College, Prairie View, Texas, 1949 - 1954. He was employed at the University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California, 1954 - 1956. He earned his Ph.D degree at the University of California, Berkeley, California in 1956 and was the twenty-first African American to earn the Ph.D. in Mathematics. Employed as Mathematics Instructor, Grambling College, Grambling, Louisiana 1956 - 1957. Employed at Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as Chairman of the Mathematics Department, 1957 - 1961. Employed as Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Southern Illinois University, East Saint Louis, Illinois, 1961 - 1964. Employed at Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia, first as Professor and as Chair of the Mathematics Department, 1964 - 1975. In 1975 he joined Texas Southern University (Houston, Texas) as a Full Professor of Mathematics snd remained there until he retired in 1999. In 1985 he had a Fulbright Scholarship to study the history of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. On Novemer 18, 2001, Dr. Williams died after a long bout with cancer.

Dr. Lloyd Williams devoted much of his spare time to tutoring and assisting people with preparation for their GED and for improving literacy. He loved Shakespear, especially Othello, and could often be found mouthing the text at performances, and he idolized Paul Robeson. He loved gospel music, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, and Duke Ellington.

References: V. K. Newell, J. H. Gipson, L. W. Rich, and B. Stubblefield, Black Mathematicians and their Works; communications Dr. Williams' daughters: Demara L. Williams and Myra Corinne Williams;


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