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Ernst Otto Fischer

Ernst Otto FischerBorn: 10-Nov-1918
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: 23-Jul-2007
Location of death: Munich, Germany
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Chemist

Nationality: Germany
Executive summary: Organometallic "sandwich" compounds

Military service: German Army (1937-39)

German chemist Ernst Otto Fischer studied under Walter Hieber, and developed a new methodology for combining metals and organic substances. In 1955 he showed that organometallic (or "sandwich") compounds, now widely used in industry and in biological research, could be constructed of molecules that had previously been thought impossible to combine. Fischer shared the 1973 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Geoffrey Wilkinson, who conducted related work independently in England. He never married. His work was published under his full name, but he was almost universally called "E. O." by students, friends, and colleagues.

Father: Karl Tobias Fischer (physicist, d. 1953)
Mother: Valentine Danzer (d. 1935)

    High School: Theresien Gymnasium, Munich, Germany (1937)
    University: Technical University of Munich (attended 1941-42 on military study leave)
    University: BS Chemistry, Technical University of Munich (1949)
    University: PhD Chemistry, Technical University of Munich (1952)
    Lecturer: Chemistry, Technical University of Munich (1955-57)
    Teacher: Chemistry, University of Munich (1957-59)
    Professor: Inorganic Chemistry, University of Munich (1959-64)
    Professor: Inorganic Chemistry, Technical University of Munich (1964-84)
    Administrator: Institute for Inorganic Chemistry, Technical University of Munich (1964-84)

    Göttingen Academy Prize for Chemistry 1957
    GCS Alfred Stock Memorial Prize 1959
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1973 (with Geoffrey Wilkinson)
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences Foreign Member
    Bavarian Academy of Sciences, 1964
    German Academy of Science
    German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, 1969
    Taken Prisoner of War (held by Americans during World War II, 1945)
    Bavarian Ancestry
    German Ancestry

Author of books:
Metal [pi]-Complexes (1966, chemistry; with H. Werner)
Transition Metal Carbene Complexes (1983, chemistry)

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