DR. BETTY HARRIS
July 29, 1940
SCIENTIST, INVENTOR, EDUCATOR
Dr. Betty Harris is an American chemist she IS known for her work on the chemistry of explosives completed at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She patented a spot test for detecting 1,3,5-triamino-2,4,6-trinitrobenzene (TATB) in the field.
Dr. Harris was born in Ouachita Parish, Monroe, Louisiana, and raised on a farm by her parents Henry Hudson “Jake” and Legertha Evelyn Thompson Wright. She attended Union Central High School, enrolling at Southern University at the age of 16. She received her B.S. in science at the age of 19 and subsequently attended Atlanta University, receiving her M.S. degree. She taught as an assistant professor of chemistry and mathematics at Mississippi Valley State University, Southern University and Colorado College. She has received the New Mexico Governor’s Trailblazer Award. She is recognized as a distinguished African American Scientist by the National Academy of Sciences. She is a 50 year member of the American Chemical Society. Dr. Harris currently lives in Maryland and has three children: Selita Harris Lucas, Jeffrey Harris and Alloyd A. Harris, II