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
Chemist

Stephanie KwolekStephanie Kwolek
31 July 1923
Chemist

Leo BaekelandLeo Baekeland
14 November 1863
Chemist & Inventor

Percy Lavon JulianPercy Lavon Julian
11 April 1899
Chemist

Gertrude B. ElionGertrude B. Elion
23 January 1918
Biochemist, Pharmacologist
Irving LangmuirIrving Langmuir
31 January 1881
Chemist

Harold UreyHarold Urey
29 April 1893
Chemist

Wallace Hume Carothers Wallace Carothers
27 April 1896
Inventor of Neoprene & Nylon
Robert Burn WoodworthRobert Burns Woodward
10 April 1917
Organic Chemist

Peter DebyePeter Debye
24 March 1884
American-Dutch chemist
Willard Frank LibbyWillard Libby
17 December 1908
Physical Chemist

Roald HoffmannRoald Hoffmann
18 July 1937
Theoretical Chemist

Elias James CoreyElias James Corey
12 July 1928
Organic Chemist

Yuan T. LeeYuan T. Lee
19 November 1936
Chemist

Thomas Robert CechThomas Cech
08 December 1947
Chemist
Arnold Orville BeckmanArnold Orville Beckman
10 April 1900
Chemist

Herbert C. BrownHerbert C. Brown
22 May 1912
Chemist

Henry TaubeHenry Taube
30 November 1915
Chemist

Paul Flory Paul Flory
19 June 1910
Chemist
Dudley Robert HerschbachDudley R. Herschbach
18 June 1932
Chemist

Robert Sanderson Mulliken Robert S. Mulliken
07 June 1896
Chemist, Physicist
Donald J. CramDonald J. Cram
22 April 1919
Chemist

James B. Sumner James B. Sumner
19 November 1887
Chemist

William LipscombWilliam Lipscomb
09 December 1919
Chemist
Edward Calvin KendallEdward Calvin Kendall
08 March 1886
Biochemist

Edwin G. KrebsEdwin G. Krebs
06 June 1918
Biochemist
Theodore William RichardsTheodore William Richards
31 January 1868
Chemist

Konrad BlochKonrad Emil Bloch
21 January 1912
Biochemist

Robert Bruce Merrifield Robert Bruce Merrifield
15 July 1921
Biochemist
Jerome KarleJerome Karle
18 June 1918
Physical Chemist

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Frank Sherwood RowlandFrank Sherwood Rowland
28 June 1927
Atmospheric Chemist
George A. OlahGeorge A. Olah
22 May 1927
Chemist

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

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

Charles J PedersenCharles J Pedersen
03 October 1904
Organic Chemist
RettaRetta
12 April 1970
Stand-up Comedian
Jerry BussJerry Buss
27 January 1933
Businessman

Kary MullisKary Mullis
28 December 1944
Biochemist, Molecular biologist, Chemist

Michael LevittMichael Levitt
09 May 1947
Physicist, Biologist, Bioinformatician, Chemist,

Owsley StanleyOwsley Stanley
19 January 1935
Chemist, Engineer, Audio engineer
Alexander ShulginAlexander Shulgin
17 June 1925
Biochemist, Pharmacologist, Chemist

Sidney GottliebSidney Gottlieb
03 August 1918
Chemist, Psychiatrist

Rashad KhalifaRashad Khalifa
19 November 1935
Chemist, Translator, Biochemist, Computer

Eleuthere Irenee du PontÉleuthère Irénée du Pont
24 June 1771
Chemist

Charles GoodyearCharles Goodyear
29 December 1800
Inventor, Chemist, Engineer
Ahmed ZewailAhmed Zewail
26 February 1946
Scientist

Harvey Washington WileyHarvey Washington Wiley
18 October 1844
American chemist
Herbert Henry DowHerbert Henry Dow
26 February 1866
Industrialist

Catherine ColemanCatherine Coleman
14 December 1960
Chemist, Air force officer, Astronaut, Engineer

John PembertonJohn Pemberton
08 July 1831
Pharmacist, Inventor, Chemist
William Worrall MayoWilliam Worrall Mayo
31 May 1819
Chemist, Politician, Gynaecologist, Editor

Roger Y. TsienRoger Y. Tsien
01 February 1952
Biochemist
Albert C. BarnesAlbert C. Barnes
02 January 1872
Chemist

Ellen Swallow RichardsEllen Swallow Richards
03 December 1842
Chemist, University teacher, Economist

James B. ConantJames B. Conant
26 March 1893
Chemist

Shannon LucidShannon Lucid
14 January 1943
Astronaut, Chemist

George M. WhitesidesGeorge M. Whitesides
03 August 1939
Chemist, University teacher
Carl DjerassiCarl Djerassi
29 October 1923
Chemist, Writer, University teacher, Science

Fraser StoddartFraser Stoddart
24 May 1942
Chemist

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

Marshall Warren NirenbergMarshall Warren Nirenberg
10 April 1927
Biochemist
Martin KarplusMartin Karplus
15 March 1930
Chemist

Peter AgrePeter Agre
30 January 1949
Chemist, Molecular biologist, Professor
Crawford LongCrawford Long
01 November 1815
Surgeon

Paul LauterburPaul Lauterbur
06 May 1929
Chemist

Roger D. KornbergRoger D. Kornberg
24 April 1947
biochemist, chemist, university teacher
Wendell Meredith StanleyWendell Meredith Stanley
16 August 1904
Biochemist

Susan SolomonSusan Solomon
19 January 1956
chemist
Bruce AmesBruce Ames
16 December 1928
Biochemist, University teacher, Chemist

Richard SmalleyRichard Smalley
06 June 1943
Chemist, Professor, Scientist

Robert H. GrubbsRobert H. Grubbs
27 February 1942
Chemist, Autobiographer, University teacher
Karl Barry SharplessKarl Barry Sharpless
28 April 1941
Chemist, University teacher

Charles J. PedersenCharles J. Pedersen
03 October 1904
Chemist
George SartonGeorge Sarton
31 August 1884
Chemist

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

Raymond Davis Jr.Raymond Davis Jr.
14 October 1914
Chemist

Roderick MacKinnonRoderick MacKinnon
19 February 1956
Professor, Chemist
Thomas Midgley, Jr.Thomas Midgley, Jr.
19 May 1889
 
Richard R. SchrockRichard R. Schrock
04 January 1945
Chemist

Alan MacDiarmidAlan MacDiarmid
14 April 1927
Chemist

Thomas A. SteitzThomas A. Steitz
23 August 1940
Biochemist

Ruth R. BeneritoRuth R. Benerito
12 January 1916
Chemist
Richard F. HeckRichard F. Heck
15 August 1931
Chemist

George BrechtGeorge Brecht
27 August 1926
Artist

F. Albert CottonF. Albert Cotton
09 April 1930
Chemist

Jean PiccardJean Piccard
28 January 1884
American-Swiss chemist

Roger AdamsRoger Adams
02 January 1889
Chemist
Paul L. ModrichPaul L. Modrich
13 June 1946
Biochemist

Wilbur Olin AtwaterWilbur Olin Atwater
03 May 1844
Chemist
William Standish KnowlesWilliam Standish Knowles
01 June 1917
Chemist

Marina OswaldMarina Oswald
17 July 1941
Pharmacist
Edward W. MorleyEdward W. Morley
29 January 1838
Scientist
Lawrence Joseph HendersonLawrence Joseph Henderson
03 June 1878
Physiologist