Former Berkeley, Howard University black pioneer of statistics dies at 91

From The Washington Post

David H. Blackwell, 91, who rose from poverty in Southern Illinois to become one of the country’s most prominent statisticians and the first African American to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences, died July 8 at a hospital in Berkeley, Calif., of complications from a stroke.

Dr. Blackwell was also the first black tenured professor at the University of California at Berkeley, where he became chairman of the statistics department. A wide-ranging scholar, he was known as an elegant theoretician who made important contributions to a number of fields, especially in statistics and probability.

His analysis of bluffing as a poker strategy, as well as his research on dueling — using statistics to determine the most opportune moment for a dueler to shoot — helped establish him as an expert in game theory.

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