Benjamin Franklin Peery, Jr.

born: 1922


pre-doctoral institution: B. S. University of Michigan

Doctoral Institution: Ph.D., University Michigan, 1962. Astrophysics

current employment. professor emeritus in astronomy at Howard University

At the University of Michigan in 1962, Benjamin Franklin Peery, appropriately named, became the second Black to be awarded the Ph.D. in astronomy. He taught for many years at Indiana University then at Howard University before he retired. Aside from contributing numerous articles to the Astrophysical Journal, Peery has the distinction of being the first Black astronomer to be seen and heard by a mass audience thanks to a televised documentary on PBS stations in 1991called "The Astronomers." This was gratifying jolt for one Black viewer who tuned in that night and later wrote: "While watching "The Astronomers" on public broadcasting, I saw something as awesome as the stars and galaxies that flashed across my TV screen. It was a phenomenon I didn't think existed, more intriguing than the most distant quasar. The miraculous sight I saw that evening was the interview of a Black astronomer.

Benjamin F. Peery's areas of research in- clude the physics of stellar structure, evolution and nucleo- synthesis, and the physics of interacting binary stars.

references: Fikes: From Banneker to Best: Some Stellar Careers In Astronomy and Astrophysics; Mickens, The African American Presence in Physics,



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