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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Blanche J. Lawrence

Research Assistant; Health DivisionChicago, IL

African-AmericanManhattan Project VeteranProject Worker/StaffWoman Scientist

Blanche J. Lawrence was an African-American research assistant in the Health Division of the University of Chicago’s Metallurgical Laboratory (“Met Lab”) during the Manhattan Project.

After World War II, she continued to work at the Met Lab’s successor, Argonne National Laboratory. Lawrence began as a technician and by her fourth year at Argonne in 1949, she had become a junior biochemist. 

Lawrence was a graduate of Tuskegee University and the widow of a 99th Pursuit Squadron pilot who was killed in action overseas during World War II. 

For more information about Blanche J. Lawrence and African-American women in math and science during the 1940s and 1950s, please see the following reference:

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