Linus Carl Pauling
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Linus Pauling worked as a scientist with chemistry, which is the science of the structure of matter, the changes in matter and what causes them, and the energy changes that go with it.
February 28, 1901
August 19, 1994
Place of Birth
He was born in Portland, Oregon, U.S.
CJP Portland Oregon Map.jpg
Known for
Linus Pauling was best known for his work with chemistry, particularly with molecular structure and for being one of the first scientists to work with quantum chemistry.
Science Explained
Pauling was a successful college chemistry professor and chemist, and he made many major and minor discoveries, such as the series of papers he published with Robert Corey on protein structure. This included the structure of the alpha helix chain, which is one of the most important structures in the body. Pauling, who was in bed with a cold, was bored of novels and claimed to have worked of his hypothesis then. Pauling studied protein structure, meaning that he studied how protein molecules are put together, the nature of chemical bonds in metals, meaning how molecules are joined to create metal, and he also had an interest in antibodies, which are the numerous Y -shaped protein molecules that are produced by B cells as a fundamental immune defense.
Pauling, a professor at Caltech, had a knack for explaining difficult problems in terms understandable to intelligent persons. He taught many award-winning scientists, and taught for 38 years at Caltech.
He also was the first person ever to win two unshared Nobel prizes, one for his lifetime work in chemistry and one for peace.
1922: Pauling, a senior at Oregon State University, teaches a course in "Chemistry for Home Economics Majors". Later that year, he graduates OAC with a B.S. in chemical engineering.
1923: Pauling publishes a paper on the structure of molybdenite, his first scientific paper ever.
1925: Pauling graduates summa cum laude from the California Institute of Technology with a Ph.D. in chemistry. For the next 38 years, he remains at Caltech to teach.
1931: Pauling's paper on "The Nature of the Chemical Bond" is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
1933: The youngest member ever, Pauling is elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
1939: Pauling’s book, The Nature of the Chemical Bond, which is considered one of the most significant scientific books ever, is published by the Cornell University Press.
1942-45: Pauling works for several divisions of the National Defense Research Commission.
1946: Pauling becomes a member of the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists at the invitation of Albert Einstein.
1948: Pauling receives the Presidential Medal of Merit of the United States.
1949: Pauling is elected to be the president of the American Chemical Society.
1954: Pauling gets the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for "his research into the nature of the chemical bond and its applications to the elucidation of the structure of complex substances."
1956: Pauling switches his research focus to mental illnesses.
1958: Pauling and wife, Ava Helen Pauling, present to UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld the petition to abolish nuclear bomb testing. The petition has over 11,000 signatures from scientists worldwide.
1963: Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 1962, and becomes the first person ever to win two unshared Nobel prizes.
1966: In response to a letter from vitamin C advocate Irwin Stone, Pauling switches his research path to vitamins, micronutrients, and orthomolecular medicine.
1970: Pauling publishes Vitamin C and the Common Cold.
1973: Along with Arthur B. Robinson and Keene Dimick, Pauling founds the Institute of Orthomolecular Medicine as a non-profit health research organization, which later becomes The Linus Pauling Institute of Science & Medicine.
1979: With co-author Ewan Cameron, Pauling publishes Cancer and Vitamin C.
1986: Pauling publishes How to Live Longer and Feel Better.
1994: Pauling dies at his ranch in Big Sur, California, leaving behind over 400,000 scientific works.

Did you know?
  • Linus Pauling remains the only person ever to have won two unshared Nobel prizes. Other people have won two Nobel prizes, but at least one of them was shared with another person.
  • Linus Pauling was either the author or a co-author of over 1,000 books.
  • It was one of his students, Ava Helen, who would become Pauling’s wife.
  • Hagar, Tom. “Linus Pauling and the Chemistry of Life.” New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. Print.
  • Linus Pauling Institute. “Linus Pauling Biography.” Oregon State University, 2013. Web. 9/13/13.
  • Arnold, Paul. “Linus Pauling and the Discovery of DNA.” Paul Arnold, 2013. Web. 9/18/13.
  • Wikipedia. “Linus Pauling.” Wikipedia, 12 Sep. 2013. Web. 9/13/13.