Linus Carl Pauling, the only person to win two unshared Nobel Prizes, revolutionized the study of chemistry, helped found the field of molecular biology, and made important advances in medical research. Linus Pauling was born 28 February 1901 in Portland, Oregon, to a self- taught druggist, Herman Henry William Pauling, and Isabelle (Belle) Pauling, the descendent of a pioneer family.
At age 16 Pauling dropped out to enroll at Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University), intending to pursue a degree in chemical engineering.Pauling quickly demonstrated that he knew moreabout chemistry than many of his professors!!!
By the time he graduated as a chemical engineer in 1922 he had set his sights on answering one of the most important questions of chemistry: how did atoms bond together to form molecules?. He enrolled in the first graduate program that offered adequate support, choosing a fledgling Pasadena research school, the California Institute of Technology, or Caltech
Pauling earned his Ph.D. in 1925, and then spent 15 months in Europe on a Guggenheim Fellowship, intending to study the basics of atomic structure. Pauling returned to Caltech in 1927 as a faculty member, and began to apply quantum mechanics to problems of chemical structure and function. His 1939 work, The Nature of the Chemical Bond, encapsulated his ideas and quickly became a standard work in the field.At the age of 38, Pauling was a full professor and head ofthe chemistry division at Caltech, and the father of fourchildren .
During the 1930s he shifted his structural studies to large biomolecules, especially proteins. In World War II, he patented an armor-piercing shell, invented an oxygen meter for submarines, and was offered the chance to head the chemistry program at the top-secret Manhattan Project because it would mean uprooting his family.After the war, his feelings towardsweapons work changedwhen, spurred by the pacifistactivism of his wife, AvaHelen, Pauling joined otherscientists in calling for civilianoversight and limitations onnuclear testing.
In 1949, Paulings team discovered the molecular basis of sickle-cell anemia. In 1950s, determined the large- scale structures of many proteins, the so-called "alpha- helix“. He also worked, though unsuccessfully, on the structure of DNA.
His many achievements were crowned with the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954, "for his research into the nature of the chemical bond and its application to the elucidation of the structure of complex substances“.His many achievements were crowned withthe awarding of the Nobel Prize in Chemistryin 1954, "for his research into the nature ofthe chemical bond and its application to theelucidation of the structure of complexsubstances“.
For over twenty years, between 1973and 1994, Paulings research focusedon a field he termed "orthomolecularmedicine".He viewed vitamin C as one of themost important of these molecules. In1973 he co-founded a Californiaresearch institute devoted to the studyof the health effects of vitamin C andother nutrients. He conducted research there until hisdeath from cancer in 1994, at age 93.
The Alpha Helix Proteins sitsin front of the home whereLinus Pauling lived fromage 9 to 16 on SEHawthorne Blvd., Portland. HIS OWN STAMP