Linus Carl Pauling (February 28, 1901 – August 19, 1994) was an American chemist, biochemist, peace activist, author, and educator. He published more than 1200 papers and books, of which about 850 dealt with scientific topics. New Scientist reportedly called him one of the 20 greatest scientists of all time, and as of 2000, he was rated the 16th most important scientist in history.Pauling was one of the founders of the fields of quantum chemistry and molecular biology.
For his scientific work, Pauling was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954. In 1962, for his peace activism, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. This makes him the only person to be awarded two unshared Nobel Prizes. He is one of only four individuals to have won more than one Nobel Prize (the others being Marie Curie, John Bardeen, and Frederick Sanger). Pauling is also one of only two people to be awarded Nobel Prizes in different fields, the other being Marie Curie. Pauling also worked on DNA‘s structure, a problem which was solved by James Watson and Francis Crick.
In his later years he promoted orthomolecular medicine, megavitamin therapy, dietary supplements, and taking large doses ofvitamin C, none of which have gained acceptance in the mainstream scientific community
On March 6, 2008, the United States Postal Service released a 41 cent stamp honoring Pauling designed by artist Victor Stabin. His description reads: “A remarkably versatile scientist, structural chemist Linus Pauling (1901–1994) won the 1954 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for determining the nature of the chemical bond linking atoms into molecules. His work in establishing the field of molecular biology; his studies of hemoglobin led to the classification of sickle cell anemia as a molecular disease.” The other scientists on this sheet of stamps included Gerty Cori, biochemist, Edwin Hubble, astronomer, and John Bardeen, physicist.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver announced on May 28, 2008 that Pauling would be inducted into the California Hall of Fame, located atThe California Museum for History, Women and the Arts. The induction ceremony took place December 15, 2008. Pauling’s son was asked to accept the honor in his place.
By proclamation of Gov. John Kitzhaber in the state of Oregon, February 28 has been named “Linus Pauling Day”. The Linus Pauling Institute still exists, but moved in 1996 from Palo Alto, California, to Corvallis, Oregon, where it is part of the Linus Pauling Science Center at Oregon State University. The Valley Library Special Collections at Oregon State University contain the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers, including digitized versions of Pauling’s forty-six research notebooks.
In 1986, Caltech commemorated Linus Pauling with a Symposia and Lectureship. The Pauling Lecture series at Caltech began in 1989 with a lecture by Pauling himself. The Caltech Chemistry Department renamed room 22 of Gates Hall the Linus Pauling Lecture Hall, since Linus spent so much time there.
Other places named after Pauling include Pauling Street in Foothill Ranch, California; Linus Pauling Drive in Hercules, California; Linus and Ava Helen Pauling Hall at Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, California; Linus Pauling Middle School in Corvallis, Oregon; and Pauling Field, a small airfield located in Condon, Oregon, where Pauling spent his youth. There is a psychedelic rock band in Houston, Texas, named The Linus Pauling Quartet.
Nobel laureate Peter Agre has said that Linus Pauling inspired him