With Over 120 Patents Under His Belt, His Name Should Be Known Worldwide

lonnie johnson speaking at a podium
Alyssa Guznik
February 13, 2023

Most of us remember keeping cool in the summer with massive water guns. They were a fun relief in our childhood years. We can thank Lonnie Johnson for this, but his best-known invention doesn't even touch his scientific genius.

Johnson grew up idolizing George Washington Carver, who revolutionized agriculture and had over one hundred and fifty inventions to his name. By high school "the Professor," as he'd become known, began winning prizes for his creations at science fairs just like Carver.

Following in his idol's footsteps, Johnson set off to Tuskegee University, where he studied to become a nuclear engineer. Though in a different field of study, Johnson modeled his time at the HBCU after Carver, seeking a meaningful career with the Air Force. But that wasn't enough.

Johnson took his talents to NASA, where he continued to work with the Air Force. He helped create the power source for the Galileo mission to Jupiter. Like his idol, many of his inventions are also geared toward clean energy.

Lonnie Johnson's dedication to science came from the genius of Black scientists before him. His passion and contributions have helped protect our country and environment. This is why it’s crucial for us to know our history and to continue to inspire one another to greatness.

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