If you ever had a vaccine shot or have used polythene or have taken in penicillin to get rid of that sore throat, thank the chemists from around the world, for had it not been for them, the world indeed wouldn’t have been the same that it is today. Chemistry is, by far, the most overlooked branch of science but has nonetheless contributed for much of our necessities and luxuries. And while talking about chemists, the contribution made by their American counterparts is noteworthy. Had it not been for Ira Remsen the world wouldn’t have been as sweet as it is today! Quite literally, for he is credited with the discovery of the first artificial sweetener, saccharin! Leo Hendrik Baekeland, a Belgian-American, is often known as the father of the plastic industry. The nylon that you frequently use today was a baby of the American chemist Wallace Carothers study. Imagine analytical chemistry without Izaak Kolthoff. This Dutch-American chemist was known for developing the cold process of rubber synthesis. Niacin, the new vitamin found in meat and yeast was a brainchild of American biochemist Conrad Arnold Elvejhem. These are just the handful of the numerous American chemists who have through their intensive study and experiments, made the world a better place to live in. The section below throws light on the life and works of some of the renowned American chemists.
Linus PaulingLinus Pauling
28 February 1901
Chemist, Biochemist
Glen T. SeaborgGlenn T. Seaborg
19 April 1912

Leo BaekelandLeo Baekeland
14 November 1863
Chemist & Inventor

Gertrude B. ElionGertrude B. Elion
23 January 1918
Biochemist, Pharmacologist

Stephanie KwolekStephanie Kwolek
31 July 1923

Percy Lavon JulianPercy Lavon Julian
11 April 1899
Irving LangmuirIrving Langmuir
31 January 1881

Robert Burn WoodworthRobert Burns Woodward
10 April 1917
Organic Chemist

Peter DebyePeter Debye
24 March 1884
American-Dutch chemist

Roald HoffmannRoald Hoffmann
18 July 1937
Theoretical Chemist
Harold UreyHarold Urey
29 April 1893

Elias James CoreyElias James Corey
12 July 1928
Organic Chemist
Willard Frank LibbyWillard Libby
17 December 1908
Physical Chemist

Wallace Hume Carothers Wallace Carothers
27 April 1896
Inventor of Neoprene & Nylon

Thomas Robert CechThomas Cech
08 December 1947
Yuan T. LeeYuan T. Lee
19 November 1936

Henry TaubeHenry Taube
30 November 1915
Paul Flory Paul Flory
19 June 1910

Herbert C. BrownHerbert C. Brown
22 May 1912

Dudley Robert HerschbachDudley R. Herschbach
18 June 1932
Arnold Orville BeckmanArnold Orville Beckman
10 April 1900

Donald J. CramDonald J. Cram
22 April 1919
Edwin G. KrebsEdwin G. Krebs
06 June 1918

Edward Calvin KendallEdward Calvin Kendall
08 March 1886

Konrad BlochKonrad Emil Bloch
21 January 1912

William LipscombWilliam Lipscomb
09 December 1919
Robert Bruce Merrifield Robert Bruce Merrifield
15 July 1921
Robert Sanderson Mulliken Robert S. Mulliken
07 June 1896
Chemist, Physicist

James B. Sumner James B. Sumner
19 November 1887

Theodore William RichardsTheodore William Richards
31 January 1868

Jerome KarleJerome Karle
18 June 1918
Physical Chemist
Frank Sherwood RowlandFrank Sherwood Rowland
28 June 1927
Atmospheric Chemist

Continue Reading Below
George A. OlahGeorge A. Olah
22 May 1927

Richard E. SmalleyRichard E. Smalley
06 June 1943
Father of Nanotechnology

Robert Floyd Curl Jr.Robert Floyd Curl Jr.
23 August 1933

Charles J PedersenCharles J Pedersen
03 October 1904
Organic Chemist
Jerry BussJerry Buss
27 January 1933

12 April 1970
Stand-up Comedian
Sidney GottliebSidney Gottlieb
03 August 1918
Chemist, Psychiatrist

Alexander ShulginAlexander Shulgin
17 June 1925
Biochemist, Pharmacologist, Chemist

Kary MullisKary Mullis
28 December 1944
Biochemist, Molecular biologist, Chemist
Owsley StanleyOwsley Stanley
19 January 1935
Chemist, Engineer, Audio engineer

Charles GoodyearCharles Goodyear
29 December 1800
Inventor, Chemist, Engineer
Erwin ChargaffErwin Chargaff
11 August 1905
Biochemist, Chemist, Writer

John PembertonJohn Pemberton
08 July 1831
Pharmacist, Inventor, Chemist

Ahmed ZewailAhmed Zewail
26 February 1946

Gilbert N. LewisGilbert N. Lewis
23 October 1875
Chemist, Physicist, University teacher,

Rashad KhalifaRashad Khalifa
19 November 1935
Chemist, Translator, Biochemist, Computer
William Worrall MayoWilliam Worrall Mayo
31 May 1819
Chemist, Politician, Gynaecologist, Editor

Stanley MillerStanley Miller
07 March 1930
Chemist, Biologist, University teacher

Roger Y. TsienRoger Y. Tsien
01 February 1952

Catherine ColemanCatherine Coleman
14 December 1960
Chemist, Air force officer, Astronaut, Engineer
Carl DjerassiCarl Djerassi
29 October 1923
Chemist, Writer, University teacher, Science

Ellen Swallow RichardsEllen Swallow Richards
03 December 1842
Chemist, University teacher, Economist
George M. WhitesidesGeorge M. Whitesides
03 August 1939
Chemist, University teacher

Peter AgrePeter Agre
30 January 1949
Chemist, Molecular biologist, Professor

Paul LauterburPaul Lauterbur
06 May 1929
Shannon LucidShannon Lucid
14 January 1943
Astronaut, Chemist

Richard SmalleyRichard Smalley
06 June 1943
Chemist, Professor, Scientist
Michael LevittMichael Levitt
09 May 1947
Physicist, Biologist, Bioinformatician, Chemist,

Karl Barry SharplessKarl Barry Sharpless
28 April 1941
Chemist, University teacher

Herbert Henry DowHerbert Henry Dow
26 February 1866
Chemist, Inventor
Marshall Warren NirenbergMarshall Warren Nirenberg
10 April 1927

Roger D. KornbergRoger D. Kornberg
24 April 1947
biochemist, chemist, university teacher
Charles Martin HallCharles Martin Hall
06 December 1863
Chemist, Inventor, Engineer

Ei-ichi NegishiEi-ichi Negishi
14 July 1935
Chemist, Professor

James Bryant ConantJames Bryant Conant
26 March 1893
Chemist, Diplomat, Teacher, University teacher

Robert H. GrubbsRobert H. Grubbs
27 February 1942
Chemist, Autobiographer, University teacher
Richard R. SchrockRichard R. Schrock
04 January 1945
Paul L. ModrichPaul L. Modrich

Thomas Midgley, Jr.Thomas Midgley, Jr.
19 May 1889

Bruce AmesBruce Ames
16 December 1928
Biochemist, University teacher, Chemist

Thomas A. SteitzThomas A. Steitz
23 August 1940
Susan SolomonSusan Solomon
19 January 1956

Charles J. PedersenCharles J. Pedersen
03 October 1904

Roderick MacKinnonRoderick MacKinnon
19 February 1956
Professor, Chemist

George Andrew OlahGeorge Andrew Olah
22 May 1927
Chemist, Scientist, University teacher

Richard F. HeckRichard F. Heck
15 August 1931
Harvey Washington WileyHarvey Washington Wiley
18 October 1844
American chemist

Jean PiccardJean Piccard
28 January 1884
American-Swiss chemist
Raymond Davis Jr.Raymond Davis Jr.
14 October 1914

Wendell Meredith StanleyWendell Meredith Stanley
16 August 1904

William Standish KnowlesWilliam Standish Knowles
01 June 1917
Robert CurlRobert Curl
23 August 1933

Marina OswaldMarina Oswald
17 July 1941
Alexander ImichAlexander Imich
04 February 1903

William GiauqueWilliam Giauque
12 May 1895

John Howard NorthropJohn Howard Northrop
05 July 1891

K. Barry SharplessK. Barry Sharpless
28 April 1941
John FennJohn Fenn
15 June 1917