Kelly Miller (July 18, 1863 – December 29, 1939) was an African-American mathematician, sociologist, essayist, newspaper columnist, author, and an important figure in the intellectual life of black America for close to half a century. He was known as "The Bard of the Potomac" in his day.
Kelly Miller came from a big family. He was the sixth of ten children born to Elizabeth Miller and Kelly Miller Sr. His mother was a former slave and his father was a freed black man who served in the union army. Miller was born in Winnsboro, South Carolina where he attend local primary and grade school.
From 1878-1880 Miller attended the Fairfield Institute where his hard work paid off and he was offered a scholarship to the historically black college, Howard University. Miller finished the preparatory department's three-year curriculum in Latin and Greek, then mathematics in two years. After finishing one department he quickly moved on to the next one. Miller attended the College Department at Howard from 1882 to 1886.
In 1886, Kelly Miller was given the opportunity to study advanced mathematics with Captain Edgar Frisby. Frisby was an English mathematician working at the U.S Naval Observatory. Frisby's chief, Simon Newcomb noticed Miller's intellectual talent and recommended him to Johns Hopkins University. Miller spent the following two years at Johns Hopkins University (1887-1889) and became the first African American student to attend the university. Kelly Miller spent his time at the university studying mathematics, physics, and astronomy...
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