Blackwell died of natural causes July 8, University of California, Berkeley officials said. He was the first tenured black professor at the campus, where he taught for 35 years.
Blackwell was known as a problem-solver who contributed to many areas, including probability and game theory.
Blackwell was born in Centralia, Ill., on April 24, 1919. He entered the University of Illinois at 16, earning a doctorate in 1941 at 22.
After graduation, he was appointed a postdoctoral fellow, alongside Albert Einstein and John Von Neumann, at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. In 1944, he joined Howard University. By 1947, he was head of the mathematics department, a position he held until 1954, when he was hired by Berkeley. - AP