Julian, Percy Lavon (1899-1975), a United States chemist. His research during the 1940's made possible the quantity production of testosterone and progesterone (the male and female hormones) and cortisone from soybeans. He also produced soybean extracts that are used to put out fires, to make paint, and to coat paper. Julian, who was born in Montgomery, Alabama, attended DePauw and Harvard universities. He received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Vienna (1931) and taught chemistry at Fisk, DePauw, and Howard universities. He was a director of research for the Glidden Company, 1936-53. He headed Julian Laboratories, Inc., 1953-64, and the Julian Research Institute, 1964-75. In 1947 he was awarded the Spingarn Medal for outstanding achievement by a black American.
He starred with Superman, drove the getaway car at Pluto's demise and was voted sexiest astrophysicist by People magazine. Is there anything Neil deGrasse Tyson can't do?
He may have been born in Brooklyn, but Carl Sagan was gunning for the stars as soon as he arrived in this world. Get to know the scientist whose infectious delight in the universe still holds us spellbound.