James Young


February 6, 2018

The National Society of Black Physicists honors Dr. James Young.


Dr. James YoungDr. James Edward Young, was born on January 18, 1926, in Wheeling, West Virginia. He graduated from Lincoln High School in 1941. In 1942 he enrolled at Howard University and graduated with a B.S. in Physics in 1946. After graduating from Howard, he was employed as a physics instructor at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) in Hampton, Virginia. During this time, he took in absentia, the M.S. Degree in Physics at Howard University. In 1949, he joined the staff of the Acoustics Laboratory at MIT as Research Assistant in Physics. In 1951, he received the M.S. Degree, with specification, from MIT. He then received his Ph.D. in Physics from MIT in 1953.

Dr. Young spent his career as a professor at MIT, and was given the distinguished title of professor emeritus when he retired. His areas of concentration included theoretical nuclear and particle physics. He was MIT’s first tenured African American Physics Professor. As a professor he advised Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson and Dr. Sylvester James Gates, both MIT Physics Ph.D. graduates and both have received numerous national and international honors and prestigious appointments by two United States Presidents.

Dr. Young is a fellow of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP). He is also a member of Sigma Pi Sigma, Beta Kappa Chi and Sigma Xi. He was married to E. Elaine Hunter in 1948 and they have one son.