Nobel Prize Recipient. Fritz Haber was awarded the 1918 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, according to the Nobel Prize committee, "for the synthesis of ammonia from its elements." In light of World War I, he did not receive his award until 1919. He received 10 nominations for the coveted award since 1910. Born to a Hasidic Jewish family, though later converting to Lutheranism, he studied at Heidelberg University, the Humboldt University of Berlin, and the Technical University of Berlin. From 1898, as a professor at the University of Karlsruhe, he developed with Carl Bosch the Haber-Bosch Process, the catalytic production of ammonia from hydrogen and atmospheric nitrogen, valuable in creating both fertilizers and explosives, which made him the Nobel Prize recipient. From 1911 through 1933, he was a professor at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry in Berlin, which is now, since 1953, known as the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society. During World War I, like his French counterpart Victor Grignard, he was responsible for the development of chemical warfare, for which he was decorated by the German government and awarded the military rank of captain. After the war, he made extensive studies in electrochemistry, including the extraction of gold from seawater, which ultimately proved uneconomical. He left Germany in 1933 due to the Nazi persecution of Jewish scientists, though the Nazis offered to continue funding his work. Awarded in 1934 the directorship at the Sieff Research Institute in then Palestine, which is now the Weizmann Institute, he died of a heart attack in Switzerland while traveling to his new position.
Bio by: Kenneth Gilbert
Clara Immerwahr Haber