Brief Chronology

  • 1901 --Born Linus Carl Pauling in Portland, Oregon (28 February)
  • 1922 --Received BS (Chemical Engineering), Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University)
  • 1923 --Married Ava Helen Miller (17 June); marriage ended with her death, 1981
  • 1925 --Received PhD (chemistry), California Institute of Technology
  • 1925-35 --Research on crystal structure as well as quantum mechanics and its applications to atomic binding
  • 1926-27 --Guggenheim Fellowship to study quantum mechanics in Europe
  • 1927 --Assistant professor of theoretical chemistry, California Institute of Technology
  • 1929-33 --Lecturer in chemistry and physics at University of California--Berkeley
  • 1930 --Published Structure of Line Spectra, co-written with Samuel Goudsmit, a book on the physics and practice of spectroscopy
  • 1931 --Full professor of chemistry, California Institute of Technology; received A. C. Langmuir Prize
  • 1932 --Lecturer in Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 1933 --Elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and at that time, the youngest person so elected
  • 1935 --Published Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, with Applications to Chemistry, co-written with E. Bright Wilson, an expansion of the notes Pauling used in preparing a Caltech course on wave mechanics
  • 1936-54 --Research on protein structure
  • 1937 --Chairman of the Division of Chemistry and Director of the Gates Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
  • 1937-38 --George Fisher Baker Lecturer in Chemistry at Cornell University
  • 1939 --Published The Nature of the Chemical Bond and The Structure of Molecules and Crystals: An Introduction to Modern Structural Chemistry, Pauling's most important and path-breaking work
  • 1940-43 --Chairman of the Chemistry Section, National Academy of Sciences
  • 1940-45 --Conducted war-related research into explosives, rocket propellants, immunology, and instrumentation
  • 1941 --Diagnosed with glomerulonephritis, which he treated with dietary changes during the next several years
  • 1941-46 --President, Pacific Division, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • 1942-45 --President, Pacific Division, American Chemical Society
  • 1945 --Began to speak against the development of atomic weapons, against war, and for peace; peace activism continues for the remainder of his life
  • 1946 --Joined the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists, at the invitation of Albert Einstein
  • 1947 --Published General Chemistry, an influential introductory chemistry textbook that reviews Pauling's ideas about quantum-based chemistry; Silliman Lecturer at Yale University
  • 1948 --Received Presidential Medal for Merit; Eastman Professor, Balliol College of Oxford University; Scott Lecturer at Cambridge University; honorary doctorates from Oxford University and the University of Paris
  • 1949 --President, American Chemical Society; published research on sickle-cell anemia
  • 1950 --Published College Chemistry
  • 1951-54 --Vice President, American Philosophical Society; researched the structure of nucleic acids
  • 1954 --Received Nobel Prize in Chemistry
  • 1954-67 --Researched the biochemistry of mental illness
  • 1958 --Presented petition to halt bomb testing, signed by thousands of scientists, to the United Nations; publishes No More War!; resigned from Caltech administrative positions
  • 1960 --Subpoenaed to testify about his anti-nuclear testing petition before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security; appeared twice and was threatened with contempt when he refused to name those who helped him circulate the petition; following publicity about the case, no contempt citation was issued
  • 1961 --Published a molecular theory of general anesthesia
  • 1962 --Marched outside the White House to protest nuclear testing; later that evening attended a black-tie dinner honoring Nobel laureates hosted by President Kennedy (April 29). Received 2,400 write-in votes in California's U.S. Senate race. Published (with Emile Zuckerkandl) the theory of a "molecular clock"
  • 1963 --Received the Nobel Peace Prize (officially for 1962). Resigned from Caltech. Associated Press named Pauling 1963's top newsmaker in science
  • 1963-67 --Fellow, Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions
  • 1966 --First became interested in the medical applications of vitamin C
  • 1967 --Published theory of orthomolecular psychiatry
  • 1967-69 --Visiting professor of chemistry, University of California, San Diego
  • 1969 --Professor of chemistry, Stanford University
  • 1970 --Published Vitamin C and the Common Cold, a best-seller that presents Pauling's case for high doses of ascorbic acid
  • 1973 --Founded the Institute of Orthomolecular Medicine (later renamed the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine)
  • 1974 --Retired from Stanford University
  • 1975 --Received National Medal of Science
  • 1976 --Published Vitamin C, the Common Cold, and the Flu, an expansion of the 1970 book
  • 1979 --Published Cancer and Vitamin C, an overview for the public
  • 1986 --Published How to Live Longer and Feel Better, a synopsis of Pauling's approach to nutrition and health; the book makes the New York Times bestseller list
  • 1989 --Received Vannevar Bush Award
  • 1994 --Died of cancer at Deer Flat Ranch, Big Sur, California (19 August)