Edward Bouchet was the first African American to graduate from Yale in 1874. He was also the first African American to be elected to Phi Beta Kappa at Yale and the first African American to earn a doctorate from an American university when he earned a Ph.D. in physics in 1876.
Following graduation from Yale, Bouchet taught chemistry and physics for 26 years at the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia. He taught in high schools and colleges for much of the remainder of his career, serving as U.S. Inspector of Customs at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition from 1904-1905 and principal of Lincoln High School in Galipolis, Ohio from 1908-1913. Bouchet died at the age of 66 in 1918. He was buried in the family plot -- without a tombstone.
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