Linus Pauling - Biochemists, Career and Family

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Linus Pauling's Personal Details

Linus Pauling was a scientist, chemist, bio-chemist and peace activist best known for his work in the field of ‘quantum chemistry’ and ‘molecular biology’

InformationDetail
BirthdayFebruary 28, 1901
Died onAugust 19, 1994
NationalityAmerican
FamousAtheists, Scientists, Chemists, Biochemists
SpousesAva Helen Pauling
Childrens Linus Jr., Peter Edward Crellin)
Universities
  • Oregon State University ( known then as Oregon Agricultural College)
  • Washington High School
Birth Place Portland
GenderMale
FatherHerman Henry William Pauling (1876–1910)
MotherLucy Isabelle
Sun SignPisces
Born inPortland
Famous asChemist, Biochemist
Died at Age93

// Famous Biochemists

Linus Pauling's photo

Who is Linus Pauling?

One of the greatest scientists of the 20th century and the most influential chemist in history, Linus Pauling is the only person to have been awarded two unshared Nobel Prizes. Popularly referred to as the ‘founding father of molecular chemistry’, Pauling’s findings in the field of biological sciences and medicine have provided the foundation for modern biotechnology. As a man of diverse accomplishments, he passionately spoke out against the development of nuclear weapons and the dangers associated with it, while he continued to pursue an amazing array of scientific interests. He was a great orator and gave numerous public speeches on the need for abandoning nuclear testing and was often invited as a speaker at conferences, political rallies, commencements, and media programs. This multi-faceted genius had a zest for communication and the ability to explain complex medical and scientific information in simple terms that a lay man could comprehend. He authored numerous articles and books on various topics like peace activism, health and science. Some of his well-known books include ‘Vitamin C and the Common Cold’, ‘Cancer and Vitamin C’ and ‘How to Live Longer and Feel Better’. To learn more interesting facts about his personal life, peace advocacy campaigns and other scientific achievements, scroll down and continue to read this biography.

// Famous Chemists

Childhood & Early Life

Linus Pauling was born in Portland, Oregon to Herman Henry William Pauling, a bread salesman and Lucy Isabelle ‘Belle’ Darling. The family lived together in a humble one room apartment.

After his sister Pauline was born, the family moved to Salem, Oregon as his father took up a salesman job at the Skidmore Drug Company.

During his younger days he was a voracious reader and was also fascinated by chemistry experiments, he even set up a laboratory with the help of an older friend.

Before he attended Oregon State University in 1917, he took a number of odd jobs—worked part time at a grocery store, as an apprentice machinist and also set up a photography laboratory with his friends—in order to earn enough money to fund his college expenses.

In 1922, he graduated from the Oregon State University with a degree in chemical engineering, after which he attended the California Institute of Technology.

While he was pursuing his graduate studies, he published seven papers on the crystal structure of minerals and in 1925 he received a Ph.D. in ‘physical chemistry and mathematical physics, summa cum laude’

Career

In 1927, he became the assistant professor of ‘theoretical chemistry’ at the California Institute of Technology and during his five year stay at the institute he published fifty papers and invented the ‘Pauling’s rules’.

In 1930, he travelled to Europe to study the use of ‘electrons’ in ‘diffraction’ and after he returned, he built an instrument called the ‘electron diffraction instrument’ to study the ‘molecular structure’ of chemical substances.

In 1932, he published a paper on the concept of ‘hybridization of atomic orbitals’ and analysed the ‘tetravalency’ of the ‘carbon atom’.

He introduced the concept of ‘electronegativity’ and established the ‘Pauling Electronegativity Scale’, a tool to predict ‘bond between atoms and molecules’.

During the World War II, he did not work on any military projects and refused to work in the ‘Manhattan Project’, a research and development project that produced the first atomic bomb.

In 1946, he became a member of the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists, an organisation that warned the public of the hazards associated with the development of nuclear weapons.

In 1949, along with fellow scientists he authored a paper titled ‘Sickle Cell Anemia, a Molecular Disease’, which was published in the journal ‘Science’.

In 1955, along with fellow colleagues from the scientific community like Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell he signed the ‘Russell-Einstein Manifesto’, an appeal to seek peaceful resolutions and put an end to nuclear weapons.

In 1958, he participated in the ‘Baby Tooth Survey’, that demonstrated the dangers of above-ground nuclear testing. The same year, along with his wife he presented the United Nations a petition signed by 11,000 scientists to end nuclear weapon testing.

During the 1960s, he opposed America’s involvement in the Vietnam War, for this cause he made many public speeches and signed protest letters and petitions.

In 1965, he authored a research paper titled, ‘Close-Packed Spheron Model of the atomic nucleus’, which was published in some of the well-respected journals including ‘Science’.

In 1970, his book titled ‘Vitamin C and the Common Cold’ was published. The book was about the benefits of the intake of Vitamin C.

He continued to work as a peace activist and in 1974, co-founded the ‘International League of Humanists’, an organisation with the primary objective of promoting peace and human rights.

In 1986, he authored another edition on the health benefits of vitamin C titled, ‘How to live longer and Feel Better’. The book advocated the intake of high dosages of Vitamin C’.

Major Works

Published in 1939, his book ‘The Nature of the Chemical Bond’ is one of the most influential books ever published in the field of chemistry and it has been cited as a reference in many important journals and scientific papers.

He founded the concept of ‘molecular disease’; these discoveries inspired research work on many more such disorders and is the basis of today’s ‘human genome research’.

Awards & Achievements

In 1926, he was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship to study under German physicist Arnold Sommerfeld in Munich, Danish physicist Niels Bohr in Copenhagen and Austrian physicist Erwin Schr�dinger in Z�rich.

In 1931, he was awarded the Langmuir Prize by the American Chemical Society for the most significant work in ‘pure science’ by a person 30 years of age or younger.

In 1954, he was awarded the 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.".

In 1962, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his ‘peace activism’.

In 1970, he was awarded the International Lenin Peace Prize.

Personal Life & Legacy

On June 17, 1923 he married Ava Helen Miller and the marriage lasted until her death in 1981. The couple had three sons together.

Even though he was raised as a member of the Lutheran Church, he later became a member of the Unitarian Church and declared that he was an atheist, two years before his death.

At the age of forty, he was diagnosed with Bright's disease, a kidney disease.

At the age of 93, he died of prostate cancer at his home in Big Sur, California.

On March 6, 2008, a 41 cent stamp was released in his honour by the United States Postal Service.

Trivia

He is the only person to win two undivided Nobel Prizes.

This Nobel Peace Prize winning scientist saved $200 dollars from all the odd jobs he did in order to fund his education, but spent most of his hard earned savings on a girl named Irene, who he fell in love with at University.

This scientist and Nobel Prize winner was denied a passport to London by the American government because he spoke publicly on the dangers associated with the nuclear weapons.

// Famous Scientists

Linus Pauling awards

YearNameAward

Other

New York Section
American Chemical Society
1946Willard Gibbs Award
Chicago section of the American Chemical Society
1947Davy Medal
Royal Society
1947T. W. Richards Medal
Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society
1948Presidential Medal for Merit
1951Gilbert N. Lewis medal
California section of the American Chemical Society
1952Pasteur Medal
Biochemical Society of France
1954Nobel Prize in Chemistry
1955Addis Medal
National Nephrosis Foundation
1955John Phillips Memorial Award
American College of Physicians
1956Avogadro Medal
Italian Academy of Science 1957 - Paul Sabatier Medal
1957Pierre Fermat Medal in Mathematics (awarded for only the sixth time in three centuries)
1957International Grotius Medal
1961Humanist of the Year
American Humanist Association
1961Gandhi Peace Award by Promoting Enduring Peace
1962Nobel Peace Prize
1965Medal
Academy of the Rumanian People's Republic
1966Linus Pauling Award
1966Silver Medal
Institute of France
1966Supreme Peace Sponsor
World Fellowship of Religion
1967Washington A. Roebling Medal
Mineralogical Society of America
1972Lenin Peace Prize
1974National Medal of Science by President Gerald R. Ford of the United States
1978Lomonosov Gold Medal
Presidium of the Academy of the USSR
1979NAS Award in Chemical Sciences
National Academy of Sciences
1981John K. Lattimer Award
American Urological Association
1984 Priestley Medal
American Chemical Society
1984Award for Chemistry
Arthur M. Sackler Foundation
1986Lavoisier Medal by Fondation de la Maison de la Chimie
1987Award in Chemical Education
American Chemical Society
1989Vannevar Bush Award
National Science Board
1990Richard C. Tolman Medal
American Chemical Society Southern California Section
1931 - Irving Langmuir Award
American Chemical Society
1941 - Nichols Medal

Linus Pauling biography timelines

  • // 28th Feb 1901
    Linus Pauling was born in Portland, Oregon to Herman Henry William Pauling, a bread salesman and Lucy Isabelle ‘Belle’ Darling. The family lived together in a humble one room apartment.
  • // 1917
    Before he attended Oregon State University in 1917, he took a number of odd jobs—worked part time at a grocery store, as an apprentice machinist and also set up a photography laboratory with his friends—in order to earn enough money to fund his college expenses.
  • // 1922
    In 1922, he graduated from the Oregon State University with a degree in chemical engineering, after which he attended the California Institute of Technology.
  • // 1923 To 1981
    On June 17, 1923 he married Ava Helen Miller and the marriage lasted until her death in 1981. The couple had three sons together.
  • // 1925
    While he was pursuing his graduate studies, he published seven papers on the crystal structure of minerals and in 1925 he received a Ph.D. in ‘physical chemistry and mathematical physics, summa cum laude’
  • // 1926
    In 1926, he was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship to study under German physicist Arnold Sommerfeld in Munich, Danish physicist Niels Bohr in Copenhagen and Austrian physicist Erwin Schr�dinger in Z�rich.
  • // 1927
    In 1927, he became the assistant professor of ‘theoretical chemistry’ at the California Institute of Technology and during his five year stay at the institute he published fifty papers and invented the ‘Pauling’s rules’.
  • // 1930
    In 1930, he travelled to Europe to study the use of ‘electrons’ in ‘diffraction’ and after he returned, he built an instrument called the ‘electron diffraction instrument’ to study the ‘molecular structure’ of chemical substances.
  • // 1931
    In 1931, he was awarded the Langmuir Prize by the American Chemical Society for the most significant work in ‘pure science’ by a person 30 years of age or younger.
  • // 1932
    In 1932, he published a paper on the concept of ‘hybridization of atomic orbitals’ and analysed the ‘tetravalency’ of the ‘carbon atom’.
  • // 1939
    Published in 1939, his book ‘The Nature of the Chemical Bond’ is one of the most influential books ever published in the field of chemistry and it has been cited as a reference in many important journals and scientific papers.
  • // 1946
    In 1946, he became a member of the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists, an organisation that warned the public of the hazards associated with the development of nuclear weapons.
  • // 1949
    In 1949, along with fellow scientists he authored a paper titled ‘Sickle Cell Anemia, a Molecular Disease’, which was published in the journal ‘Science’.
  • // 1954
    In 1954, he was awarded the 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.".
  • // 1955
    In 1955, along with fellow colleagues from the scientific community like Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell he signed the ‘Russell-Einstein Manifesto’, an appeal to seek peaceful resolutions and put an end to nuclear weapons.
  • // 1958
    In 1958, he participated in the ‘Baby Tooth Survey’, that demonstrated the dangers of above-ground nuclear testing. The same year, along with his wife he presented the United Nations a petition signed by 11,000 scientists to end nuclear weapon testing.
  • // 1962
    In 1962, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his ‘peace activism’.
  • // 1965
    In 1965, he authored a research paper titled, ‘Close-Packed Spheron Model of the atomic nucleus’, which was published in some of the well-respected journals including ‘Science’.
  • // 1970
    In 1970, his book titled ‘Vitamin C and the Common Cold’ was published. The book was about the benefits of the intake of Vitamin C.
  • // 1970
    In 1970, he was awarded the International Lenin Peace Prize.
  • // 1974
    He continued to work as a peace activist and in 1974, co-founded the ‘International League of Humanists’, an organisation with the primary objective of promoting peace and human rights.
  • // 1986
    In 1986, he authored another edition on the health benefits of vitamin C titled, ‘How to live longer and Feel Better’. The book advocated the intake of high dosages of Vitamin C’.
  • // 19th Aug 1994
    At the age of 93, he died of prostate cancer at his home in Big Sur, California.

// Famous Atheists

Linus Pauling's FAQ

  • What is Linus Pauling birthday?

    Linus Pauling was born at 1901-02-28

  • When was Linus Pauling died?

    Linus Pauling was died at 1994-08-19

  • Where was Linus Pauling died?

    Linus Pauling was died in Big Sur

  • Which age was Linus Pauling died?

    Linus Pauling was died at age 93

  • Where is Linus Pauling's birth place?

    Linus Pauling was born in Portland

  • What is Linus Pauling nationalities?

    Linus Pauling's nationalities is American

  • Who is Linus Pauling spouses?

    Linus Pauling's spouses is Ava Helen Pauling

  • Who is Linus Pauling childrens?

    Linus Pauling's childrens is Linus Jr., Peter Edward Crellin)

  • What was Linus Pauling universities?

    Linus Pauling studied at Oregon State University ( known then as Oregon Agricultural College), Washington High School

  • Who is Linus Pauling's father?

    Linus Pauling's father is Herman Henry William Pauling (1876–1910)

  • Who is Linus Pauling's mother?

    Linus Pauling's mother is Lucy Isabelle

  • What is Linus Pauling's sun sign?

    Linus Pauling is Pisces

  • How famous is Linus Pauling?

    Linus Pauling is famouse as Chemist, Biochemist