Albert Hofmann - the First Person to Synthesize Lsd, Birthday and Family

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Albert Hofmann's Personal Details

Albert Hofmann was a Swiss scientist who synthesised LSD

InformationDetail
BirthdayJanuary 11, 1906
Died onApril 29, 2008
NationalitySwiss
Famousthe First Person to Synthesize Lsd, Scientists, Chemists
SpousesAnita Hofmann
Childrens Andreas, Beatrice, Dieter, Gaby
Universities
  • University of Zurich
Birth PlaceBaden
GenderMale
FatherAdolf Hofmann
MotherElisabeth Schenk
Sun SignCapricorn
Born inBaden
Famous asThe First Person to Synthesize LSD

// Famous the First Person to Synthesize Lsd

Albert Hofmann's photo

Who is Albert Hofmann?

Albert Hofmann was a Swiss scientist who was intrigued by nature. This led him to a career in chemistry in which he sought answers to his uncertainties. He worked at Sandoz Laboratories where he nurtured his research work, and there he made a lot of success working with various plants and converting them into something useful. He became famous when he became the first person to produce lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). In addition, he was also the first person to taste it and learn about its hallucinogenic effects. He was deeply connected to the nature and argued that LSD, besides being useful for psychiatry, could also be used to promote awareness of mankind’s place in nature. However, he was disappointed that his discovery was being carelessly used as a drug for entertainment. Because of his discovery, LSD fans have fondly called him ‘The Father of LSD.’ Besides carrying out his scientific experiments, he also authored numerous books and more than 100 scientific articles. In 2007, he featured in a list of the 100 greatest living geniuses, published by The Telegraph newspaper.

// Famous Scientists

Childhood & Early Life

Albert Hofmann was born in Baden, Switzerland, on January 11, 1906. He was the eldest of four children. His father was a poor toolmaker in a factory and they lived in a rented apartment. He spent much of his childhood outdoors, and grew up with a very deep connection with nature.

He had mind-blowing experiences in childhood, wherein nature was changed in magical ways that he didn’t understand. These experiences provoked questions in his mind, and chemistry was the scientific field which allowed him to understand them.

He studied chemistry at Zurich University, his main interest being the chemistry of plants and animals. At 23, he earned his PhD with honors.

Career

He took a job with Sandoz Laboratories; he was attracted by their program to produce pharmacological compounds from medicinally important plants.

He first synthesized LSD on November 16, 1938 with an aim to obtain a respiratory and circulatory stimulant. The research was set aside for five years.

He stumbled on LSD again when he was working on the ergot fungus on April 16 1943. He accidentally ate a trace of the compound and came to know about its powerful effects.

On April 19, 1943, he deliberately swallowed a dose of LSD and rode his bicycle home as the effects of the drug engulfed him. That day was remembered by LSD enthusiasts as “bicycle day.”

In 1958, Hofmann discovered ‘ethacetin’, which is an 'intoxicating tryptamine.’

He became director of the natural products department at Sandoz Laboratories. He continued studying hallucinogenic substances found in Mexican mushrooms and other plants. He produced ‘psilocybin’, the active agent of many ‘magic mushrooms.’

He also became interested in the seeds of the Mexican morning glory and found that the active compound ‘ergine’ (LSA, ‘lysergic acid amide’), has a distinct likeness to LSD.

Hofmann also produced other important drugs like ‘methergine’, for treating postpartum hemorrhaging, which was the leading cause of death from childbirth.

In 1962, he and his wife Anita Hofmann went to Mexico to search for the plant ‘Ska Maria Pastora’ to identify its active compound. However, he was not able to identify it at that time. It was later identified as the ‘diterpenoid salvinorin A’.

In 1963, he attended the annual convention of the ‘World Academy of Arts and Sciences’ (WAAS) in Stockholm.

He stayed with Sandoz Laboratories as head of the research department for natural medicines until he retired in 1971.

He delivered a speech at the 1996 Worlds of Consciousness Conference in Heidelberg, Germany.

In an interview before he turned 100, Hoffman called LSD “medicine for the soul.” He was disappointed that it was prohibited worldwide, knowing that it has been very successful in psychoanalysis. However, he acknowledged that it could be dangerous if misused, especially if given to a first-time user without supervision from a doctor.

Major Works

He was the first person to produce, consume, and know the mind-altering effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).

Awards & Achievements

Albert Hofmann received the title D.Sc. (honoris causa) in 1969 from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

In 1971, the Swedish Pharmaceutical Association (Sveriges Farmacevtförbund) gave him the Scheele Award. It’s an award which commemorates the achievements of Carl Wilhelm Scheele, the Swedish Pomeranian chemist and pharmacist.

In a list of the 100 greatest living geniuses published by The Telegraph newspaper in 2007, he shared first place, together with Tim Berners-Lee.

Personal Life & Legacy

Albert Hofmann was married to Anita and the couple had four children. His wife died in 2007 and one of his children also predeceased him.

He died on April 29, 2008, at the age of 102, due to a heart attack.

Trivia

After his retirement he served as a member of the Nobel Prize Committee.

// Famous Chemists

Albert Hofmann biography timelines

  • // 11th Jan 1906
    Albert Hofmann was born in Baden, Switzerland, on January 11, 1906. He was the eldest of four children. His father was a poor toolmaker in a factory and they lived in a rented apartment. He spent much of his childhood outdoors, and grew up with a very deep connection with nature.
  • // 1938
    He first synthesized LSD on November 16, 1938 with an aim to obtain a respiratory and circulatory stimulant. The research was set aside for five years.
  • // 16th Apr 1943
    He stumbled on LSD again when he was working on the ergot fungus on April 16 1943. He accidentally ate a trace of the compound and came to know about its powerful effects.
  • // 19th Apr 1943
    On April 19, 1943, he deliberately swallowed a dose of LSD and rode his bicycle home as the effects of the drug engulfed him. That day was remembered by LSD enthusiasts as “bicycle day.”
  • // 1958
    In 1958, Hofmann discovered ‘ethacetin’, which is an 'intoxicating tryptamine.’
  • // 1962
    In 1962, he and his wife Anita Hofmann went to Mexico to search for the plant ‘Ska Maria Pastora’ to identify its active compound. However, he was not able to identify it at that time. It was later identified as the ‘diterpenoid salvinorin A’.
  • // 1963
    In 1963, he attended the annual convention of the ‘World Academy of Arts and Sciences’ (WAAS) in Stockholm.
  • // 1969
    Albert Hofmann received the title D.Sc. (honoris causa) in 1969 from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
  • // 1971
    He stayed with Sandoz Laboratories as head of the research department for natural medicines until he retired in 1971.
  • // 1971
    In 1971, the Swedish Pharmaceutical Association (Sveriges Farmacevtförbund) gave him the Scheele Award. It’s an award which commemorates the achievements of Carl Wilhelm Scheele, the Swedish Pomeranian chemist and pharmacist.
  • // 1996
    He delivered a speech at the 1996 Worlds of Consciousness Conference in Heidelberg, Germany.
  • // 2007
    In a list of the 100 greatest living geniuses published by The Telegraph newspaper in 2007, he shared first place, together with Tim Berners-Lee.
  • // 29th Apr 2008
    He died on April 29, 2008, at the age of 102, due to a heart attack.

// Famous Swiss

Albert Hofmann's FAQ

  • What is Albert Hofmann birthday?

    Albert Hofmann was born at 1906-01-11

  • When was Albert Hofmann died?

    Albert Hofmann was died at 2008-04-29

  • Where was Albert Hofmann died?

    Albert Hofmann was died in Berg

  • Where is Albert Hofmann's birth place?

    Albert Hofmann was born in Baden

  • What is Albert Hofmann nationalities?

    Albert Hofmann's nationalities is Swiss

  • Who is Albert Hofmann spouses?

    Albert Hofmann's spouses is Anita Hofmann

  • Who is Albert Hofmann childrens?

    Albert Hofmann's childrens is Andreas, Beatrice, Dieter, Gaby

  • What was Albert Hofmann universities?

    Albert Hofmann studied at University of Zurich

  • Who is Albert Hofmann's father?

    Albert Hofmann's father is Adolf Hofmann

  • Who is Albert Hofmann's mother?

    Albert Hofmann's mother is Elisabeth Schenk

  • What is Albert Hofmann's sun sign?

    Albert Hofmann is Capricorn

  • How famous is Albert Hofmann?

    Albert Hofmann is famouse as The First Person to Synthesize LSD