Linus Pauling

What was Linus Pauling Famous for


Linus Pauling was an American scientist. He was born on February 28, 1901, in Portland, USA.  His father, Herman Henry William Pauling, was a German-born pharmacist in Oregon, and his mother Lucy Isabel Darling was of Oregon-born and English-Scottish descent. Here Linus Pauling short summary is given –

  • Name: Linus Pauling
  • Birth: February 28, 1901
  • Birth Place: Portland, Oregon, U.S.
  • Death: August 19, 1994, Big Sur, California, U.S.

Pauling was a chemist, biochemist, chemical engineer, peace activist, author, and educator. The New Scientist called him one of the top 20 scientists of all time.  As of 2000, he has been honored as the 16th most important scientist in history. His contributions to the theory of chemical bonding include the idea of orbital hybridization and the first accurate scale of elemental radiology. His discoveries inspired the work of James Watson, Francis Crick, and Rosalind Franklin about DNA structure. This made it possible for geneticists to crack the DNA code of all organisms.

Pauling was one of the founders of quantum chemistry and molecular biology. He has published more than 1,200 articles and books, of which nearly 850 have worked on scientific topics.  He received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the Pauling Orbital Hybridization Theory in 1954.

In his later years, he promoted nuclear disarmament, as well as orthomolecular medicine, megavitamin therapy, and dietary supplements. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1963 for his efforts to implement the Nuclear Energy Test Ban Act. He is one of four people to receive more than one Nobel Prizes, Who received two Shareless Nobel Prizes. One of the two has been awarded the Nobel Prize in various fields.


In 1917 Pauling attended Oregon State College after completing elementary and secondary education at the schools in Condon and Portland. From there in 1922 BSc in Chemical Engineering Degree.

From 1919-1920, he worked as a full-time teacher of Quantitative Analysis at State College. He then joined the California Institute of Technology as a Fellow. There he is Professor R. Yes. Dickinson and Richard C. Works under the supervision of Tolman. In 1920 he completed his Ph.D. His minor subjects as Physics and Mathematics.


Pauling has research most of the time on his life. In 1926 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship. There he had experts in quantum mechanics and other fields of physics. In 1927, Pauling accepted a new position as California Institute of Technology assistant professor of theoretical chemistry. Pauling was also affiliated with UC Berkeley as a Visiting Lecturer in Physics and Chemistry from 1929 to 1934. In 1929, he was promoted to associate professor, and in 1930, became a full professor. In 1936, Pauling was named the chairman of Caltech’s chemistry and chemical engineering department and director of the Gates and Kremlin laboratories of chemistry. He held both posts until 1958. Pauling spent a year at the University of Oxford and George Eastman Visiting Professor and Fellow of Balliol in 1948.

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Personal Life

Pauling had married Ava Helen Miller on June 17, 1923. This marriage relationship continued until the death of Ava Pauling in 1981. They had four children. Linus Karl Jr. (born 1925), Peter Pauling (1931), Edward Kremlin Pauling (1937), Linda Helen (born 1932).

Honor & Awards

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Pauling had gotten a wide range of honors & awards in his life. His important honorable awards are-

  • 1931 ACS Award in Pure Chemistry;
  • 1931 Irving Langmuir Award, American Chemical Society;
  • 1940 Alpha Chi Sigma, professional chemistry fraternity;
  • 1941 Nichols Medal, American Chemical Society;
  • 1946 Willard Gibbs Award,
  • 1947 Davy Medal, Royal Society;
  • 1947 T. W. Richards Medal;
  • Presidential Medal for Merit by President Harry S. Truman of the United States in 1948;
  • Elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London in 1948;
  • 1951 Gilbert N. Lewis medal;
  • 1952 Pasteur Medal, Biochemical Society of France;
  • 1954 Nobel Prize in Chemistry;
  • 1955 Addis Medal, National Nephrosis Foundation;
  • 1955 John Phillips Memorial Award;
  • 1956 Avogadro Medal, Italian Academy of Science;
  • 1957 Paul Sabatier Medal;
  • 1957 Pierre Fermat Medal in Mathematics;
  • 1957 International Grotius Medal;
  • 1959 Messenger Lectureship
  • 1960 Fellow, Royal Society of Arts;
  • 1961 Humanist of the Year, American Humanist Association;
  • 1961 Gandhi Peace Award by Promoting Enduring Peace;
  • 1962 Nobel Peace Prize;
  • 1965 Medal, Academy of the Rumanian People’s Republic;
  • 1966 Linus Pauling Award;
  • 1966 Silver Medal, Institute of France;
  • 1966 Supreme Peace Sponsor, World Fellowship of Religion;
  • 1967 Washington A. Roebling Medal, Mineralogical Society of America;
  • 1972 Lenin Peace Prize;
  • National Medal of Science by President Gerald R. Ford of the United States in 1974;
  • 1978 Lomonosov Gold Medal, Presidium of the Academy of the USSR;
  • 1979 Gold Medal Honoree, National Institute of Social Sciences;
  • 1979 NAS Award in Chemical Sciences, National Academy of Sciences;
  • 1979 Golden Plate Award, American Academy of Achievement;
  • 1981 John K. Lattimer Award, American Urological Association;
  • 1984 Priestley Medal, American Chemical Society;
  • 1984 Award for Chemistry, Arthur M. Sackler Foundation;
  • 1986 Lavoisier Medal by Fondation de la Maison de la Chimie;
  • 1987 Award in Chemical Education, American Chemical Society;
  • 1989 Vannevar Bush Award, National Science Board;
  • 1990 Richard C. Tolman Medal, American Chemical Society Southern California Section;
  • 1992 Daisaku Ikeda Medal, Soka Gakkai International;


Pauling died of prostate cancer on August 19, 1994, at 19:20 at home in Big Sur, California. At this time his age was 93 years old. Pauling will have been a memorable hero in the science world.

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