Biography of Alice Ball – The renowned African-American Chemist who found a cure for leprosy

Biography of Alice Ball - The Renowned African American Chemist


Alice Ball was a brilliant chemist whose pioneering work revolutionized the treatment of leprosy. Born with a passion for science, she made groundbreaking contributions to the field of chemistry during her short but impactful life. Her innovative approach to treating leprosy brought hope to countless individuals suffering from the disease and left an indelible mark on the scientific community.

Alice Ball’s profile summary 

Full Name: Alice Ball

Date of birth: April 24 1892

Date of death: December 31, 1916 (24)

County and State: Seattle, Washington, USA.

Education: University of Hawaii

Occupation: Chemist

Religion: Unavailable

Net Worth: Unavailable

Alice Ball’s Biography and Early Life

Alice Ball was born on July 24, 1892, in Seattle, Washington, USA. She hailed from a state with a rich history of innovation, which likely influenced her scientific curiosity. Despite her untimely death at the age of 24, Alice Ball’s accomplishments in chemistry continue to inspire generations. Her contributions to science remain influential, even though she passed away at such a young age.

Alice Ball’s Educational Background

Alice Ball’s thirst for knowledge led her on an exceptional educational journey. She attended local schools in Seattle during her primary and secondary education, displaying remarkable academic aptitude. She then pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of Washington, where she demonstrated exceptional skills in chemistry. Her academic excellence earned her a Master of Science degree in chemistry, making her one of the first African-American women to achieve this distinction. Although her life was tragically cut short before completing her doctoral studies, her work continues to resonate in the scientific world.

Alice Ball’s Career, Awards and Accomplishments

During her lifetime, Alice Ball focused primarily on her academic and research pursuits. She was deeply committed to her work in chemistry and made significant contributions while at the University of Hawaii.

Though not fully involved in private ventures or companies, her impact on the scientific community outweighed her individual associations.

Alice Ball’s groundbreaking work in chemistry and her significant contributions to the development of the “Ball Method” for treating leprosy were recognized and acknowledged by her peers. Her innovative technique, using chaulmoogra oil to create an injectable form of treatment, became a significant breakthrough in leprosy treatment.

Though she did not live to see the full impact of her work, her discoveries have left an enduring legacy.

Alice Ball’s impact to science 

Alice Ball’s contributions extended beyond her scientific achievements. She demonstrated a deep commitment to improving the lives of leprosy patients by developing a more accessible and effective treatment. Her work brought hope and relief to many individuals suffering from this  disease.

Alice Ball’s Method 

Alice’s method involved extracting the active components from  chaulmoogra tree oil, which was considered a potential remedy for leprosy.

She successfully developed a technique to isolate the fatty acids from the oil, making it water-soluble and easier to administer as an injectable form.

Net Worth

Alice Ball is deceased and information about her network is not known.

Alice Ball’s Death

According to an article in the Pacific Commercial Advertiser, Alice Ball passed away at the age of 24 under a bizarre circumstances. There are suspicions that she might have died from chlorine poisoning.


Alice Ball’s remarkable journey as a chemist and her groundbreaking work in the field of leprosy treatment have left an indelible mark on the scientific world. Her pioneering spirit and commitment to making a difference continue to inspire future generations of scientists and researchers. Though her life was cut short, her legacy lives on through the lasting impact of her work in chemistry and medicine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What did Alice Ball achieve in her field of chemistry?

A: Alice Ball made significant contributions to the field of chemistry by developing the “Ball Method” for treating leprosy, which revolutionized the treatment of the disease.

Q: When and where was Alice Ball born?

A: Alice Ball was born on July 24, 1892, in Seattle, Washing,ton, USA.

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