William Lipscomb Biography
(Inorganic and Organic Chemist Who Won Nobel Prize for Studying the Structure of Boranes)
Birthday: December 9, 1919 (Sagittarius)
Born In: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
William Lipscomb was an American inorganic and organic chemist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1976. Renowned for his works in the fields of nuclear magnetic resonance, theoretical chemistry, boron chemistry, and biochemistry, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his research on the structure of molecules and on chemical bonding. A protégé of the two-time Nobel laureate Linus C. Pauling, he continued his mentor’s work at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in the 1940s. Growing up in a home where independent thinking and intellectual pursuits were encouraged, he became fascinated with chemistry as a young boy. He received a small Gilbert chemistry set when he was 12 and he was hooked. He grew up to receive his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Kentucky following which he went to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for his doctorate. He was greatly influenced by his mentor Linus C. Pauling and eventually ventured into an academic career. He joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota in 1946, and moved to Harvard University after 13 years. He also served on the board of directors of Dow Chemical. Known for his multiple talents, he was a classical clarinetist who performed in chamber groups.