Linus Pauling (1901-1994)

Born on 28 February 1901 in Oregon. In 1922 Pauling graduated from the Oregon Agricultural College with a degree in chemical engineering. He then became a Teaching Fellow and graduate student of chemistry at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech). He was awarded a PhD in 1925, after which he spent two years studying in Europe. He became Professor of Chemistry at CalTech in 1931.

Pauling was one of the founders of the field of quantum chemistry. His research work included the study of X-ray crystals, chemical bonds and biological molecules. In 1932 he introduced the Pauling Electronegativity Scale. In 1954 he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the nature of the chemical bond.

Upon the outbreak of World War II, Pauling became an activist in the anti-nuclear testing movement, joining the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists. Following his work to instigate a partial test-ban treaty in 1963, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. From the 1970s Pauling generated increasing controversy with his scientific research, proposing vitamin C as a cure for the common cold and cancer. In 1974 he founded the Institute of Orthomolecular Medicine. Pauling died in California on 19 August 1994.