Clarence Francis Stephens was born on July 24, 1917, and died on March 5, 2018.
He was the ninth African American to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics.
Stephens credited with inspiring students and faculty at SUNY Potsdam to form the most successful United States undergraduate mathematics degree programs in the past century.
Clarence was six children, he was orphaned at the age of eight.
For his early education, he attended Harbison Agricultural and Industrial Institute, a boarding school for African-Americans in Irmo, South Carolina under Dean R. W. Bouleware and later President Rev John G. Porter.
Stephens graduated from Johnson C. Smith University in 1938 with a B.S. degree in mathematics.
Stephens received his M.S. (1939) and his Ph.D. (1943) from the University of Michigan.
Stephens was the 9th African American to receive his Ph.D. in mathematics, studying difference equations.
He was served in the U.S. Navy (1942–1946) as a Teaching Specialist, Dr. Stephens joined the mathematics faculty of Prairie View A&M University.
During the next year (1947) Stephens was invited to join the mathematics faculty at Morgan State University.
He passed away 100 years old.