Charles J Pedersen

About Charles J Pedersen

Who is it?: Organic Chemist
Birth Day: October 03, 1904
Birth Place: Busan, South Korea, United States
Died On: October 26, 1989(1989-10-26) (aged 85)\nSalem, New Jersey, USA
Birth Sign: Scorpio
Alma mater: University of Dayton, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Awards: Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1987)
Fields: Organic chemistry
Institutions: DuPont

Charles J Pedersen Net Worth

Charles J Pedersen was bornon October 03, 1904 in Busan, South Korea, United States, is Organic Chemist. Charles J Pedersen was an American organic chemist who did path-breaking work in describing methods of synthesizing crown ethers. For the same, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1987, which he shared with Donald J Cram and Jean Marie Lehn, the duo who took his work forward. Pedersen was the first DuPont scientist to won the Nobel Prize and also amongst the handful scientists who were bestowed with the award despite having no doctorate degree. Pedersen’s career as a scientist began when he studied chemical engineering at the University of Dayton in Ohio. He then completed his master’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Though a bright student, Pedersen did not want to be supported by his father and thus dropped further studies to work. He found employment at DuPont Company, where he remained till his retirement. Unlike other scientists who usually reach the high point of their career mid-30s or early 40s, Pedersen’s magnum opus came after the age of 60. He was studying the effects of bi- and multidentate phenolic ligands on the catalytic properties of the vanadyl group, VO when he accidentally found unknown crystals of a by-product. Fascinated by the same, he studied further, little knowing that it would lead to a new chapter in chemistry. He discovered crown ethers, a molecule containing hydrogen, carbon and oxygen atoms. It was for this discovery that he was awarded the Nobel Prize.
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Biography/Timeline

1904

Pedersen was born in Busan, on the coast of south-eastern Korea, to a Norwegian Father Brede Pedersen and a Japanese mother Takino Yasui, in 1904. Due to his father's work as an Engineer, he spent part of his childhood near the Unsan mine in present-day North Korea. He moved to Japan with his family at the age of 8 years to attend a convent school in Nagasaki. When he was 10 years old, he moved to Yokohama and entered an international school, called Saint Joseph College. He came to the United States in 1922 to study chemical engineering at the University of Dayton in Ohio. After receiving a bachelor's degree, he went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received a master's degree in organic chemistry. Although his professors encouraged him to pursue a Ph.D. at MIT, Pedersen decided to start his career instead, partially because he no longer wanted to be supported by his Father. He is one of the few people to win a Nobel Prize in the sciences without having a Ph.D.

1927

In 1927, Pedersen began working for DuPont where he would remain for the next 42 years, retiring at the age of 65. At DuPont, his work resulted in 25 papers and 65 patents. In 1967 he published two works that are now considered classics; they describe the methods of synthesizing crown ethers (cyclic polyethers). The donut-shaped molecules were the first in a series of extraordinary compounds that form stable structures with alkali metal ions. In 1987 he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Donald Cram and Jean-Marie Lehn for his work in this area; Cram and Lehn expanded upon his original discoveries.

1989

Pedersen was diagnosed with myeloma in 1983, and though he was becoming increasingly frail, he traveled to Stockholm to accept the Nobel Prize in late 1987. Shortly thereafter, he was awarded a medal for excellence by the du Pont Research Fellows. He died on 26 October 1989 in Salem, New Jersey.