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Forgotten Genius

Those Who Knew Him

Groundbreaking scientist, hard-driving boss, mentor, father—Percy Julian played many roles through his life. In these audio clips, six people who knew Julian well recount stories that reveal his personality and the struggles he faced. Listen online by selecting Play All or choose individual clips below. Listen offline by downloading clips.

Play all
Ray Dawson

Ray Dawson
Student & scientific protégé
"He put on a grand show. He would come into his lectures in his white lab jacket with a flourish."

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Running time 4:40

Roger Blandford

Percy Julian Jr.
Son
"He gave his kids grit, and he gave the future hope."

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His love of tulips
Running time 3:25

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Who my father was
Running time 1:46

Helen Printy

Helen Printy
Chemist at Glidden & Julian Labs
"Doc wore cologne ... 'Of Thee I Sing' was the name of the cologne ... People used to go sniffing around to see if he was anywhere around."

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Running time 2:42



Jim Letton

Jim Letton
Chemist at Julian Labs
"I looked for two years for a job.... I had contacted probably 15 to 20 companies."

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Running time 3:01

Peter Walton

Peter Walton
Lifelong family friend & employee
"There was something magical about the challenge of living up to his expectations."

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Christmas showdown
Running time 3:39

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Creating a haven
Running time 2:20

Risher Watts

Risher Watts
Physician at Julian's death
"He did not accept the fact ... that he was going to die. He just seemed to have other plans."

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Running time 2:08



Text version of audio clips

Download audio clips
Ray Dawson
Percy Julian Jr. 1
Percy Julian Jr. 2
Helen Printy
Jim Letton
Peter Walton 1
Peter Walton 2
Risher Watts

Interviews produced and conducted by Stephen Lyons and Llewellyn Smith for their program "Forgotten Genius." Online feature produced by Susan K. Lewis, with audio editing by David Levin.

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