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William Lipscomb

William LipscombAKA William Nunn Lipscomb, Jr.

Born: 9-Dec-1919
Birthplace: Cleveland, OH
Died: 14-Apr-2011
Location of death: Cambridge, MA
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Chemist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Chemical bonding

Military service: Office of Science Research and Development (1942-46)

US chemist William Lipscomb is known for his studies of boranes (hydrides of boron), including several ground-breaking studies on the relationship between the function of enzymes and their three-dimensional structure. In a 1954 study, he used x-ray techniques to analyze the structure of boron molecules, and proposed that boron and hydrogen atoms could be held together under some circumstances by a regular covalent bond. He won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1976.

Father: William Lipscomb
Mother: Edna Porter
Wife: Mary Adele Sargent (m. 1944, div. 1983, one son, one daughter)
Son: James Lipscomb
Daughter: Dorothy
Wife: Jean Craig Evans (lettering artist, m. 1983, one daughter)
Daughter: Jenna

    High School: Picadome High School, Lexington, KY (1937)
    University: BS Chemistry, University of Kentucky (1941)
    University: PhD, California Institute of Technology (1946)
    Professor: University of Minnesota (1946-59)
    Professor: Chemistry, Harvard University (1959-)

    Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award 1937
    Guggenheim Fellowship 1954-55, 1972-73
    American Chemical Society Award for Distinguished Service 1968
    George Ledlie Prize 1971
    Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry 1973
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1976
    WFS Erice Prize 2008
    Member of the Board of Dow Chemical (1982-89)
    Academy of Arts and Sciences of Puerto Rico Corresponding Member, 1991
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences 1960
    American Crystallographic Association President, 1955
    American Physical Society 1963
    Boston Museum of Science Trustee, 1965-68
    Federation of American Scientists Board of Sponsors
    International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science 1980
    John Kerry for President
    Korean Academy of Science and Technology Foreign Member, 1997
    Mexican Academy of Sciences Foreign Member, 1996
    Mineralogical Society of America 1958
    National Academy of Sciences 1961
    Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences Foreign Member, 1976
    Royal Society of Chemistry Foreign Member, 1972 (Chemical Society of London)
    Journal of Chemical Physics Associate Editor, 1955-57
    Journal of American Chemical Society Associate Editor, 1959-68
    Alpha Chi Sigma Chemistry Fraternity
    Phi Beta Kappa Society
    Phi Lambda Upsilon Chemistry Honor Society
    Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Society
    Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honors Society
    Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society

Author of books:
Boron Hydrides (1963)
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Studies of Boron and Related Compounds (1969, with Gareth R. Eaton)


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