Wiley J. Henderson, a professor emeritus at Alabama A&M University, died on December 23 in Huntsville, Alabama. He was 88 years old.
A native of rural Clarke County, Alabama, Henderson had to walk miles in each direction in order to catch a bus for school. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Alabama A&M University while working at a campus job during the school year and picking beans on a farm in the summer in order to pay his tuition.
After earning his master’s degree at Alabama A&M, Henderson continued his studies at Central State University in Ohio and the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he conducted extensive research on hypertension. He taught at biology A.L. Martin High School in Thomasville, Alabama, and later at Clarke County High School in Grove Hill, Alabama. In 1978, he accepted a position as an associate professor of biology at Alabama A&M University where he taught for the next 42 years.