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 Linus Carl Pauling

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Linus Carl Pauling

Birth
Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, USA
Death 19 Aug 1994 (aged 93)
Big Sur, Monterey County, California, USA
Burial Lake Oswego, Clackamas County, Oregon, USA
Memorial ID 22440 View Source
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Twice a Nobel Prize Recipient. Linus Pauling, an American chemist, received international notoriety for being the only person to be awarded two Nobel Prizes and not sharing either with another person. First, he received the 1954 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and in 1962 the Nobel Peace Prize. According to the Nobel Prize committee, he received the 1954 Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his research into the nature of the chemical bond and its application to the elucidation of the structure of complex substances. Receiving his 1962 Nobel Peace Prize in 1963, he was given the covet award "for his fight against the nuclear arms race between East and West." During the McCarthyism years in the United States, his involvement in the anti-nuclear movement led to his being labeled a suspected communist, which resulted in his passport being revoked in 1952 for a time. The time that this political situation took to be resolved impacted his research. In 1958 he submitted to the United Nations a petition signed by over 9,000 international scientists advocating the cessation of nuclear testing. On October 10, 1963, the day on which the limited nuclear testing ban went into effect, it was announced that Linus Pauling would be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 1962. Born the oldest and only son of three children, his father was a pharmacist, who was of German ancestry. His father died of a perforated ulcer on June 11, 1910, leaving a widow with three children under the age of nine. His mother's father was also a pharmacist. After attending public schools in Oregon, he attended Oregon Agricultural College, what is now Oregon State University, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering in 1922. Working his way to pay for a college education, he served as a full-time teacher of chemistry at the State University from 1919. Entering California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1922, he received his Ph.D. Summa Cum Laude in 1925 majoring in chemistry with minors in mathematics and physics. After graduation, he spent 18 months in Europe on a Guggenheim Fellowship studying quantum mechanics mainly at the Arnold Summerfeld's Institute for Theoretical Physics in Munich, Germany. After completing his fellowship, he returned to Caltech to join the chemistry faculty in 1927 as an assistant professor but was quickly promoted up his career ladder. By 1937 he was named the Chairman of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Caltech, and to the position of Director of the Gates and Crellin laboratories of Chemistry, a position he held for the next twenty years. In the summer of 1930, he made another study trip to Europe. During the 1930s along with other pioneering scientists, he used quantum mechanics to understand and describe chemical bonding, the way atoms join together to form molecules. Researching in a broad range of areas within chemistry, he worked with the structures of biologically important chemical compounds. He became seriously ill with Bright's Disease in 1941, and credits his wife for taking charge of his medical needs for a recovery. During World War II while working for the United States military, he invented a device to measure oxygen saturation in submarines and later after the war, the device was manufactured to monitor premature new-born infants' oxygen saturation. In 1951 he published the structure of the alpha helix, which is an important basic component of many proteins. Upon leaving Caltech, his research centered around medical issues, such as orthomolecular medicine and mega doses of vitamin C, especially in the treatment of AIDS. He held professorships at the University of California at San Diego from 1967 to 1969 and at Stanford University from 1969 to 1973. In 1973 after retiring, he founded the Institute of Orthomolecular Medicine, which today is known as the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine and located on the campus of Oregon State University. He received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Achievement Award for his pioneering work in determining the cause of sickle cell anemia, the molecular disease prevalent among African-Americans. This research brought science one step closer to the discovery of DNA. Besides the Nobel Prize, he received a host of awards and honors including the Davy Medal, the Pasteur Medal, the Willard Gibbs Medal, and the Lomonosov Medal. In 1979 he was the first recipient of the National Academy of Sciences Award in Chemical Sciences. The National Library of Medicine gave him its Sesquicentennial Commemorative Award in 1986. For his protest against the Vietnam War, he was awarded the International Lenin Peace Prize in 1970. He was elected in 1933, at the age of 32, to the National Academy of Sciences; in 1936 to the American Philosophical Society; and in 1948 he became a foreign member of The Royal Society of London. He was a member of numerous other learned professional societies in the United States, as well as in many European countries, along with India, Japan and Chile. A prolific author, he published more than 1,200 papers and books, of which about 850 dealt with scientific topics. His most-noted books are "The Nature of the Chemical Bond, and the Structure of Molecules and Crystals" published in 1939, 1949, and 1960, which is still one of the most quoted text in the 21st century; "General Chemistry" in 1947and 1953, which was translated into nine languages; and "No More War!" in 1958, 1959, and 1962. After meeting his wife, Ava Helen Miller, early in his college years at Oregon State, the couple married in 1923 and had three sons and a daughter, eventually had thirteen grandchildren. His wife became a human right activist and is credited to pushing him in this worthy interest. The Oregon State University Press released in 2005 a detailed bibliography listing of his and his wife's person papers in a six-volume series, "The Pauling Catalogue." When asked what was his greatest discovery, he simply replied, "My wife."

Bio by: Linda Davis


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 21 May 2001
  • Find a Grave Memorial 22440
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/22440/linus-carl-pauling : accessed ), memorial page for Linus Carl Pauling (28 Feb 1901–19 Aug 1994), Find a Grave Memorial ID 22440, citing Oswego Pioneer Cemetery, Lake Oswego, Clackamas County, Oregon, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated.