From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Holland, James Phillip

(born: 1934  -  died: 1998) 

James Holland was the first African American from Kentucky to be named to West Point Military Academy. He was 19 years old when the nomination was made by Republican Senator John Sherman Cooper with a recommendation by Kentucky State College President R. B. Atwood.

Born in Bowling Green, KY, Holland was valedictorian of his graduating class at State Street High School. He received his bachelor's degree from Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] in 1956 and his master's degree (1958) and PH. D. (1961) in endocrinology from Indiana University. He was a professor of Zoology at Indiana University, where his research explored how reproductive physiology is influenced by thyroid gland activity. The James P. Holland Memorial Lecture Series was established in 2000 at Indiana University; the school also offers the James P. Holland Fellowship in Biology and the James Phillip Holland Award for Exemplary Teaching.

For more see "Senator names first Kentucky Negro to West Point," Jet, 3/25/1924, p. 6 [article available full text at Google Books]; Scientists in the Black Perspective, by H. A. Young and B. H. Young; and John A. Hardin, The Pursuit of Excellence: Kentucky State University, 1886-2020, p. 120.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Warren County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Franklin County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Bowling Green, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Franklin, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Scientists in the black perspective

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Holland, James Phillip,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed January 22, 2022,

Last modified: 2021-08-23 17:07:26