Kenneth Manning received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Harvard University (History of Science; 1970, 1971, and 1974). He joined the MIT faculty in 1974.
His first major work was a study of nineteenth-century mathematics. This was followed by Black Apollo of Science: The Life of Ernest Everett Just (1983), which won the Pfizer Award and the Lucy Hampton Bostick Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the Kennedy Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is currently studying the role of blacks in American medicine, and has authored a number of scholarly articles on blacks in science and medicine.