Jesse J. Mark

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Dr. Jesse Jarue Mark (b. 1906) was the first African American person to achieve a Ph.D. in Botany in the United States and at Iowa State College.

Life and Education

Dr. Jesse J. Mark was born in Apple Springs, Texas in 1906. He received a B.S. from Prairie View State College in 1929. He received his M.S. from Iowa State College. After his M.S., he went to teach at Kentucky State Industrial College. He returned to Iowa State College to receive his Ph.D. in Botany in 1935. Dr. Mark also taught at Tennessee State College, Lincoln University, Texas College, and Southern University at New Orleans.

Dr. Mark joined the Iowa State College faculty as the Rockefeller Agriculture Fellow.

His name is often misspelled in historical records as "Jessie" which led to the belief that he was a woman.