John Wesley Gilbert was born in Hephzibah, Georgia back in 1863. He spent half of the year in school and the other half on the farm. After graduating from high school, he enrolled in the Augusta Institute, continuing his education enrolled at Brown University. He graduated from Brown with a bachelor’s degree.
While in Brown he received a scholarship to the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece. He attended from 1890-91. For his work in Greece he was elected to the American Philological Association. After returning to the States he taught Greek, French, German, Latin and Hebrew at his former school Paine College. He fell ill in 1921 and died two years later in Augusta, Georgia.
What you may not know about John is that he was the first African-American to graduate from Paine College, the first African-American professor of that school and the first African-American to receive an advanced degree from Brown University.
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