Lloyd M. Cooke

Lloyd_CookeLloyd Miller Cooke ( - 2001) was a manager and research chemist at the Union Carbide Corporation as well as an advocate to increase the presence of minorities in science and engineering.

Cooke entered the University of Wisconsin in 1933 where he availed himself of a wide range of campus activities and excelled both academically and athletically while in Madison. He was the first African-American to run cross country for the Badgers.  Cooke majored in Chemistry and, after his first year in school, was inducted into Phi Eta Sigma, an honorary scholastic fraternity that recognizes freshman academic excellence.  Cooke graduated with honors in 1937 and penned his thesis on: "Quantitative Analytical and Concentration Methods for Rhenuins Ores." 

After graduating from Wisconsin, Cooke continued his academic career and received his PhD in Chemistry from Montreal's McGill University in 1941 at the age of 25.  He lectured at McGill for two years, before returning to the States and embarking on a career as a highly-respected chemist.  Cooke worked for several companies and ultimately ended up as a top research chemist for the Union Carbide Corporation.  

He was active in the American Chemical Society, serving as the Chairman of the Chicago section in 1955.  Cooke wrote numerous academic papers, published a popular textbook on chemistry and the environment; and, in 1970, he received the prestigious William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement. 

In the 1970s, Cooke changed his focus in an attempt to increase the minority presence in scientific disciplines.  He served several years as Union Carbide's Director of Urban Affairs and was the President of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering.In the latter capacity, he worked in concert with several New York City-area universities to recruit minority students to the sciences. Cooke eventually retired from public life in the 1980s and died in Oberlin, Ohio in 2001.