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William D. McElroy

AKA William David McElroy

Born: 22-Jan-1917
Birthplace: Rogers, TX
Died: 17-Feb-1999
Location of death: San Diego, CA
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Biologist, Chemist
Party Affiliation: Republican

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Bioluminescence

Military service: Office of Scientific Research and Development (1944-46)

Biochemist William David McElroy discovered how bioluminescence works in Photinus pyralis fireflies, and isolated and crystallized the compounds that enable the fireflies' natural illumination. He studied under E. Newton Harvey and George Beadle, and was appointed Director of the National Science Foundation by US President Richard M. Nixon in 1969. Biochemist Marlene DeLuca was his wife and frequent collaborator.

Father: William D. McElroy
Mother: Ora Shipley McElroy
Sister: Lola McElroy Rector
Wife: Nella Amelia Winch McElroy (college sweetheart, m. 1940, div., two daughters, two sons)
Daughter: Ann Reed McElroy
Daughter: Mary Elizabeth McElroy
Son: Thomas Shipley McElroy
Son: William David McElroy, Jr.
Wife: Marlene Anderegg DeLuca (biochemist, m. 1967, d. 1987, one son)
Son: Eric Gene McElroy
Wife: Olga Robles McElroy (m. 1997)

    High School: McAllen High School, McAllen, TX (1935)
    University: Pasadena City College
    University: BS, Stanford University (1939)
    University: MS Biology, Reed College (1941)
    University: PhD Biology, Princeton University (1943)
    Teacher: Biology, Johns Hopkins University (1946-56)
    Professor: Biology, Johns Hopkins University (1956-69)
    Professor: Biology, University of California at San Diego (1969-80)
    Administrator: Chancellor, University of California at San Diego (1972-80)

    Rumford Prize 1965
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    American Association for the Advancement of Science President (1975-76)
    American Institute of Biological Sciences
    American Philosophical Society
    American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    National Academy of Sciences 1963
    National Science Foundation Director (1969-72)
    US Atomic Energy Commission
    Asteroid Namesake 1853 McElroy

Author of books:
Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry (1961)
Light; Physical and Biological Action (1965, with Howard H. Seliger)


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