25 Alice Ball Quotes From the Young Chemist Who Developed a Way to Treat Leprosy

Check out these Alice Ball quotes to learn about this important chemist.

Alice Augusta Ball was born in Seattle, Washington, in 1882 and died in Seattle, Washington, in 1916 at the young age of 24.

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Ball accomplished many things in her short life, including becoming the first woman and first African American to earn a master’s degree from the University of Hawaii.

She became the first woman and African American to be a professor at the University of Hawaii.

Ball then developed a method for treating leprosy known as the “Ball Method,” which has changed many people’s lives.

Unfortunately, the year after she developed the cure, she became sick, and even though she returned to Seattle for treatment, she died at 24.

Read these Alice Ball quotes about an amazing woman for a few moments.

The Best Alice Ball Quotes

Here are some of the best quotes about and from Alice Ball.

1. “And she was very nearly lost to history.” — Mitchell K. Dwyer

2. “I work and work, and still it seems I have nothing done.” — Alice Ball

3. “Bit by bit, I began to uncover information about her.” — Dr. Kathryn Takara

4. “She was a brilliant chemist, and her work significantly improved the lives of leprosy patients around the world.” — Galen Scott

5. “It’s hard enough for students going through graduate school these days—I can’t imagine what it was like for her over a century ago.” — Philip Wiliams

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6. “She was not only the first Black student to receive a master’s from the institute, but she was also the first Black woman to graduate with that distinction.” — Stephanie Cornish

7. “When she wasn’t lecturing at the university or volunteering as an English teacher, Ball was in the lab trying to find a way to make chaulmoogra dissolvable in water.” — Kathleen M. Wong

8. “Since we cannot bring Alice back to life, the least we can do is tell the story of her life as honestly and thoroughly as possible, so people will know about her outstanding work today and in the future.” — Paul Wermager

9. “Ball’s discovery was very beneficial to alleviating the pain that was sustained by patients… And for a black woman to be able to achieve what she did and make advances in that area during that time is remarkable unto itself.” — James O. Harnisch

10. “On the east side of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s campus, a 25-foot tree with long, narrow leaves and velvety brown fruit pays tribute to Alice Augusta Ball, the first woman, and first African American student to receive a master’s degree from the school.” — Kathleen M. Wong

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Inspiring Alice Ball Quotes

These quotes show that Alice Ball was an inspiring person.

11. “[Ball is] certainly a trailblazer and role model.” — Philip Williams

12. “It wasn’t every day you found an African American woman in a chemistry lab.” — Philip Williams

13. “She and her work can help educate and inspire [people to] do the seemingly impossible.” — Paul Wermager

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14. “Miss Ball solved the problem for me by making the ethyl esters of the fatty acids found in chaulmoogra oil.” — Harry T. Hollmann

15. “It was just painstaking going through newspaper after newspaper looking for little tidbits. I finally got enough to envision what she was like: not a selfish person and very caring and giving.” — Paul Wermager

16. “She graduated in 1915 and continued her history-making streak by becoming the university’s first Black, woman chemistry instructor, in addition to its first Black and first female master’s degree holder.” — Kathleen M. Wong

17. “Visible acknowledgments of minority leaders are encouraging, especially to students who face similar struggles, who just need to know that it is possible to make a difference in the world no matter who you are.” — Alyssa Renteria

Alice Ball Quotes About Her Achievements

Enjoy these quotes about Alice Ball and her work.

18. “Alice Ball’s work improved our society.” — Jennifer Doudna

19. “She demystified the myths of racial inferiority.” — Dr. Kathryn Takara

20. “I am pleased that her legacy is finally being recognized.” — Jennifer Doudna

21. “Ball’s breakthrough research should have assured her place in history.” — Carlyn L. Tani

22. “Ball’s legacy is that one can achieve against the odds with perseverance and by dedication to excellence.” — Dr. Kathryn Takara

23. “As a master’s student, Ball researched the chemical makeup of plants, particularly the Hawaiian’ awa root, also known as kava.” — Kathleen M. Wong

24. “During her brief lifetime, Ball never received the acknowledgment from the medical world for her groundbreaking work in the cure of Hansen disease.” — Meserette Kentake

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25. “She changed our understanding of leprosy and enabled us to better treat people that were previously dismissed, discriminated against, and left without hope. Her story and achievements are inspiring.” — Jennifer Doudna

Alice Ball’s Early Life

Alice Ball was born to James Presley and Laura Louise Ball and was one of their four children.

She grew up in an upper-middle-class home, and her family moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1903.

They then moved back to Seattle in 1905, where Ball would attend school and eventually college.

Please share these Alice Ball quotes with your family and friends and post any comments about her in the comment section below.

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