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Linus Pauling, Two-Time Nobel Prize Winner, Aug 20, 1994

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:57 am    Post subject: Linus Pauling, Two-Time Nobel Prize Winner, Aug 20, 1994 Reply with quote

Daily News of Los Angeles (CA) - August 20, 1994

Linus Pauling, the only person to win two Nobel Prizes by himself but who became best known as a political activist and the controversial prophet of vitamin C, died Friday, according to a family member.

Pauling, 93, died at 7:30 p.m. at his 160-acre ranch in Big Sur. There was no official word on the cause of Pauling's death, but he had been suffering for some time from cancer.

Few scientists made contributions to as many fields as Pauling, whose interests ranged from chemistry to molecular biology to psychiatry to medicine. The British magazine New Scientist ranked him among the 20 most influential scientists in history, along with people like Darwin, Galileo and Newton. Albert Einstein was the only other 20th-century scientist listed.

"There are Nobel Prize winners and Nobel Prize winners," said Roald Hoffman, who, like Pauling, won the award in chemistry. "He's a super superstar."

Not bad for someone who didn't receive his high school diploma until after he had won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1954. He won the Nobel Peace Prize eight years later.

Pauling wrote more than 650 scientific papers, about 200 articles on social and political topics, and books ranging from his "College Chemistry" textbook and his classic "The Nature of the Chemical Bond" to the popular ''No More War!" and "How to Live Longer and Feel Better."

At an age when most researchers long have stopped turning out scientific papers, Pauling continued to publish, writing at least a half-dozen papers a year even in his 90s.

Pauling finished his academic career at Stanford University, where he was a professor from 1969 to 1973. For the rest of his life, he used as his base the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine in Palo Alto, where his ideas on the relationship between nutrients and health were explored.

Despite his formidable scientific achievements, it was Pauling's fight to ban nuclear testing in the atmosphere and to ban nuclear weapons that first thrust him before the general public. He was accused of being a communist, called to testify before the Senate Internal Affairs Committee and had his passport taken away.

Pauling was born Feb. 28, 1901, in Portland, Ore., the son of a pharmacist. The family moved to Condon, a small town in the eastern part of the state. Pauling's father died when the boy was 9, and his mother rented out rooms in their large house to support the family.

Shortly before his death, Pauling's father seemed confounded by his son's precocious intellect. He wrote the Portland Oregonian newspaper asking for a list of books for a boy with "extraordinary interest and ability in reading."

The young boy decided at age 13 that he wanted to become a scientist after a friend poured sulfuric acid onto a white mixture of sugar and potassium chlorate, leaving behind a steaming mass of black carbon.

Pauling set up a lab in the basement of the house and began spending hours in the library.

"Once some children asked him what drew him to science," said Robert Paradowski, a history of science professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology and Pauling's authorized biographer. "He said he was just curious about the world."

He was not a straight-A student, though, receiving C's in Latin and English, Paradowski said.

Pauling left high school without his diploma when the principal wouldn't

allow him to take the two courses in American history he needed to graduate in the same semester. Pauling, who knew he had enough credits to be admitted to Oregon State, instead took college algebra and trigonometry.

After receiving his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering, he received his doctorate in chemistry and mathematical physics in 1925 from the California Institute of Technology. After spending most of the next two years in Europe on a Guggenheim Fellowship, Pauling returned to Caltech in 1927 and stayed there for the next 36 years, leaving when conservative political

pressure against his outspoken views became too oppressive.

It was while at Caltech that Pauling made his greatest discoveries.

"He's really a compulsive worker," said Linus Pauling Jr., a retired psychiatrist. "He has built-in energy. Most people when they leave the office at the end of the day they quit working. He would bring stuff home and he would work. It was really the only thing he did."

Matthew Meselson, a biochemistry professor at Harvard who was one of the last graduate students to train under Pauling, recalled a story his teacher told him. The great German mathematician Karl Friedrich Gauss, Pauling said, was asked why he was so great in his field. "I don't know," Gauss replied, ''but maybe it's because I never do anything else."

Pauling took the insights he learned in quantum mechanics and brought them to chemistry with his theory of the chemical bond. "He was this country's first and best-ever structural chemist," Hoffman said. "He pioneered several techniques in this country, and he put this country in the leadership of chemistry through his work."

Many scientists feel he should have won a third Nobel Prize for his discovery of the cause of sickle-cell anemia and showing the molecular base for some diseases.

In recent years, though, Pauling has been in the spotlight for his controversial beliefs that vitamin C not only could fight off colds but could also prolong the lives of people with AIDS and fight heart disease. Pauling

himself took 18 grams of vitamin C a day with his juice in the morning, 300 times the recommended requirement. When he was fighting a cold, he took as many as 30 grams a day.

Pauling's wife, Ava Helen, whom he met at Oregon State, died in 1981 of stomach cancer. They were married 58 years.

Pauling is survived by his sister, Pauline Emmett of Salt Lake City, and his four children, Dr. Linus Pauling Jr. of Honolulu, Peter J. Pauling of Wales, Crellin Pauling of Portola Valley and Linda Pauling Kamb of Pasadena. He also has 15 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held in the near future at Stanford Memorial Church. Donations may be made to the Linus Pauling Institute.

PHOTO: Linus Pauling
Was advocate for vitamin C

Edition: Valley
Page: N1
Copyright (c) 1994 Daily News of Los Angeles


Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA) - August 20, 1994

Two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus C. Pauling, a leader in the fight against nuclear weapons and an advocate of vitamin C to prevent cancer, the common cold and other diseases, died Friday. He was 93.

Pauling died at his ranch in the Big Sur area about 7:20 p.m., according to the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine in Palo Alto. He had been in frail health for several months, according to the institute.

Pauling was the only person ever to win two unshared Nobel Prizes.

A scientific Renaissance man whose career spanned more than six decades, Pauling was a child of 11 or 12 when he first sought to understand the universe.

''If I couldn't find a place for something, then I would change my picture of the world until I understood where it fit. Or I would throw it out and come back to it later,'' he told The Associated Press in 1991.

''Life has always been something of a puzzle, which I'm always trying to figure out.''

Pauling won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1954 for his research on the nature of the chemical bond that holds molecules together and its use in understanding the structure of such complex substances as protein and antibodies.

He published several books and more than 1,000 scientific papers, continuing to put out about a dozen a year well into his 90s.

''No one has made greater and more varied contributions to modern chemistry'' than Pauling, said Purdue University Professors Herbert C. Brown and Derek A. Davenport and Cornell University professor R. Hoffmann in their letter nominating him for the Priestly Medal. Pauling won that honor from the American Chemical Society in 1984.

After the development of the atomic bomb, Pauling became a peace advocate and campaigned against nuclear weapons. In 1958, he presented a petition to the United Nations opposing nuclear weapons tests, a document signed by more than 11,000 scientists worldwide.

On Oct. 10, 1963, the effective date for the U.S.-Soviet test ban treaty, he was awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize for peace.

Pauling, an outgoing man with bright blue eyes, often wore a floppy beret on his white hair and displayed a wry wit. He said once that the government's recommended daily allowance of vitamin C ''only keeps you from dying of scurvy.''

It was his theories about vitamin C that made Pauling controversial during the past 20 years. He maintained that large doses of ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, can protect people from diseases ranging from the common cold to cancer and extend the lifespan by decades. In 1973, he established the Linus Pauling Institute, which continues research on the beneficial effects of vitamin C.

Edition: AM
Page: A7
Copyright (c) 1994 Press-Telegram
Claire Martin
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