John McNeile Hunter

birth: January 23, 1901

place: Woodville, Texas

BS Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1924); MS Cornell University(1927)

Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University (1937)

area of research: thermoionics

Born on Woodville, Texas, John McNeile Hunter did as much as any single individual in America to add physics to the curricululm of black students and to add black students to the professional rosters of physics. He received his S.B. in Electrical Engineering from M.I.T. and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University. Hunter was the third African American to receive a Ph.D. in Physics. In 1925 he obtained a position at Virgina State College (now University) as teacher of electrical wiring and operator of the power plant. Later he became professor and Head of the Physics Department. From 1925 to his retirement in 1967 there were 65 Physics majors at Virginia State, and by 1973 10 of these received a Ph.D. in Physics. Charles Townes, Herman Bronson, and James Herman Stith were three of Hunter's students.


references: [Davenport, p.8,9], [faces], [greene, p. 151], [sammons, p.126], [taylor, pg 179]



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