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Paul J. Flory

Paul J. FloryAKA Paul John Flory

Born: 19-Jun-1910
Birthplace: Sterling, IL
Died: 9-Sep-1985
Location of death: Big Sur, CA
Cause of death: Heart Failure

Gender: Male
Religion: Christian [1]
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Chemist, Activist
Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Studied polymers

Nobel Prizewinning chemist Paul J. Flory studied the properties of polymers, making important contributions to the understanding of chain conformation, crystallization, elasticity, glass formation, hydrodynamics, liquid crystals, melt viscosity, molar mass distribution, and solution thermodynamics. In 1937, while working at DuPont under Wallace Hume Carothers, he discovered that a growing polymeric chain can terminate its growth and instead start a new chain, if it reacts with other molecules that are present. In 1939 at the University of Cincinnati he developed a theory of polymer networks to explain the process of gelation. He also developed a theory of rubber networks in 1943 and a theory of anistropic solutions in 1956. After his retirement in 1975 he became a public advocate for human rights in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.


[1] Church of the Brethren.

Father: Ezra Younce Flory (clergyman, b. 5-Jan-1870, d. 15-Feb-1940)
Sister: Margaret (step-sister, b. 28-Mar-1896)
Sister: Miriam Flory Myers (step-sister, b. 17-Mar-1900)
Mother: Martha Brumbaugh Flory (teacher, b. 3-Mar-1871, m. 15-Mar-1905)
Brother: James Flory (b. 22-Apr-1906)
Wife: Emily Catherine Tabor Flory (m. 1936, two daughters, one son)
Daughter: Melinda Flory Groom
Daughter: Susan Flory Springer
Son: Paul John Flory, Jr. (geneticist)

    University: Elgin High School, Elgin, IL (1928)
    University:
BS Chemistry, Manchester College Indiana (1931)
    University: MS Organic Chemistry, Ohio State University (1931)
    University: PhD Physical Chemistry, Ohio State University (1934)
    Scholar: Basic Science Research Laboratory, University of Cincinnati (1937-39)
    Lecturer: Baker Lectureship, Cornell University (1948)
    Professor: Chemistry, Cornell University (1948-57)
    Administrator: Director of Research, Mellon Institute, Carnegie Mellon University (1957-61)
    Professor: Chemistry, Stanford University (1961-66)
    Professor: Jackson-Wood Professors of Chemistry, Stanford University (1966-75)

    Guggenheim Fellowship 1954
    Elliott Cresson Gold Medal of the Franklin Institute 1971
    National Medal of Science 1974
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1974
    Priestley Medal 1974
    Perkin Medal 1977
    Goodyear Director of Research (1943-48)
    Standard Oil Esso Laboratories (1940-43)
    DuPont Research Chemist (1934-37)
    Kelvinator Corporation Factory Worker (1931-32)
    American Chemical Society
    National Academy of Sciences 1953
    National Academy of Sciences Committee on Human Rights (1979-84)
    Alpha Chi Sigma Chemistry Fraternity
    Heart Attack 9-Sep-1985 (fatal)
    English Ancestry
    French Ancestry
    German Ancestry
    Huguenot Ancestry

Author of books:
Principles of Polymer Chemistry (1953, textbook)
Statistical Mechanics of Chain Molecules (1969, chemistry)
Selected Works of Paul J. Flory (1985)


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