Linus Pauling was born in Portland Oregon on February 28th, 1901. Pauling was educated at Oregon State College where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. He continued on to graduate school where his research focused on the x-ray diffraction of crystals. Upon finishing, Pauling served as a teacher at the college and then a Teaching Fellow in Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology. Linus Pauling was one of the most influential and highly regarded scientists of the 20th century.
In 1932, Pauling wrote a paper documenting the orbital hybridization of the carbon element. He helped to explain how valence electrons (outermost in an atom) in Carbon, Nitrogen and Oxygen specially could bind to the outermost electrons in other atoms, thus forming new compounds. For his work on this, his work with Carbon’s tetravalency ( Carbon has 4 valence electrons) and his theories of electronegativity(important as to whether a bond formed is ionic or covalent), Pauling received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954.
During the second World War, Pauling’s work included military research. However, because both he and his wife, Ava (who was a Pacifist) were concerned about the atomic weapons, he soon found himself working against atomic testing. For this he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962. In addition to his very prestigious Nobel Prizes, Linus Pauling received the first ever American Chemical Society Award in Pure Chemistry, and many other awards, medals and honorary degrees both in America and across Europe.
Linus Pauling was a very versatile scientist, and he also stayed true to his teaching roots. He wrote several books, including The Nature of the Chemical Bond in 1939, The Structure of Molecules and Crystals the same year and a General Chemistry textbook in 1947. In 1958, he wrote No More War!
His brilliance for Science and Chemistry in particular was evident in his three hundred fifty published articles. He studied and wrote about crystalline structure, quantum mechanics, Van der Waals forces, metals and magnetism, the structure of proteins, the structure and reactions of antibodies and abnormal hemoglobin structures and properties. Pauling studied and wrote about even more Chemistry subjects than listed here. He was a true Scientific genius.
In 1973, Linus Pauling and two colleagues founded the Institute of Orthomolecular Medicine in Menlo Park California. The institute eventually became the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine. While there, Pauling researched Vitamin C, and continued to work on Chemistry and Physics until his death in 1994, at the age of ninety three.