Famous Chemists from the United States

List of notable or famous chemists from the United States, with bios and photos, including the top chemists born in the United States and even some popular chemists who immigrated to the United States. If you're trying to find out the names of famous American chemists then this list is the perfect resource for you. These chemists are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known chemist from the United States is included when available.

Examples of people on this list: George Washington Carver, Linus Pauling and more.

This historic chemists from the United States list can help answer the questions "Who are some American chemists of note?" and "Who are the most famous chemists from the United States?" These prominent chemists of the United States may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected American chemists.

Use this list of renowned American chemists to discover some new chemists that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. {#nodes}
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  • George Washington Carver (1860s – January 5, 1943), was an American agricultural scientist and inventor. He actively promoted alternative crops to cotton and methods to prevent soil depletion.While a professor at Tuskegee Institute, Carver developed techniques to improve soils depleted by repeated plantings of cotton. He wanted poor farmers to grow alternative crops, such as peanuts and sweet potatoes, as a source of their own food and to improve their quality of life. The most popular of his 44 practical bulletins for farmers contained 105 food recipes using peanuts. Although he spent years developing and promoting numerous products made from peanuts, none became commercially successful.Apart from his work to improve the lives of farmers, Carver was also a leader in promoting environmentalism. He received numerous honors for his work, including the Spingarn Medal of the NAACP. In an era of very high racial polarization, his fame reached beyond the black community. He was widely recognized and praised in the white community for his many achievements and talents. In 1941, Time magazine dubbed Carver a "[b]lack Leonardo".
    • Birthplace: USA, California, San Francisco
    Gordon Earle Moore (born January 3, 1929) is an American businessman, engineer, and the co-founder and chairman emeritus of Intel Corporation. He is also the author of Moore's law. As of April 2019, Moore's net worth is reported to be $10.4 billion.
  • Linus Pauling

    Linus Pauling

    Dec. at 93 (1901-1994)
    • Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, USA
    Linus Carl Pauling (; February 28, 1901 – August 19, 1994) was an American chemist, biochemist, peace activist, author, educator, and husband of American human rights activist Ava Helen Pauling. He published more than 1,200 papers and books, of which about 850 dealt with scientific topics. New Scientist called him one of the 20 greatest scientists of all time, and as of 2000, he was rated the 16th most important scientist in history.Pauling was one of the founders of the fields of quantum chemistry and molecular biology. His contributions to the theory of the chemical bond include the concept of orbital hybridisation and the first accurate scale of electronegativities of the elements. Pauling also worked on the structures of biological molecules, and showed the importance of the alpha helix and beta sheet in protein secondary structure. Pauling's approach combined methods and results from X-ray crystallography, molecular model building, and quantum chemistry. His discoveries inspired the work of James Watson, Francis Crick, and Rosalind Franklin on the structure of DNA, which in turn made it possible for geneticists to crack the DNA code of all organisms.In his later years he promoted nuclear disarmament, as well as orthomolecular medicine, megavitamin therapy, and dietary supplements. None of the latter have gained much acceptance in the mainstream scientific community.For his scientific work, Pauling was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954. For his peace activism, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962. He is one of four individuals to have won more than one Nobel Prize (the others being Marie Curie, John Bardeen and Frederick Sanger). Of these, he is the only person to have been awarded two unshared Nobel Prizes, and one of two people to be awarded Nobel Prizes in different fields, the other being Marie Curie.
  • Leo Baekeland
    Dec. at 80 (1863-1944)
    • Birthplace: Sint-Martens-Latem, Belgium
    Leo Henricus Arthur Baekeland FRSE(Hon) (November 14, 1863 – February 23, 1944) was a Belgian chemist. He is best known for the inventions of Velox photographic paper in 1893 and Bakelite in 1907. He has been called "The Father of the Plastics Industry" for his invention of Bakelite, an inexpensive, nonflammable and versatile plastic, which marked the beginning of the modern plastics industry.
  • Arnold Orville Beckman
    Dec. at 104 (1900-2004)
    • Birthplace: Cullom, Illinois
    Arnold Orville Beckman (April 10, 1900 – May 18, 2004) was an American chemist, inventor, investor, and philanthropist. While a professor at California Institute of Technology, he founded Beckman Instruments based on his 1934 invention of the pH meter, a device for measuring acidity, later considered to have "revolutionized the study of chemistry and biology". He also developed the DU spectrophotometer, "probably the most important instrument ever developed towards the advancement of bioscience". Beckman funded the first transistor company, thus giving rise to Silicon Valley. After retirement, he and his wife Mabel (1900-1989) were numbered among the top philanthropists in the United States.
  • Gregory Goodwin Pincus
    Dec. at 64 (1903-1967)
    • Birthplace: Woodbine, New Jersey
    Dr. Gregory Goodwin Pincus (April 9, 1903 – August 22, 1967) was an American biologist and researcher who co-invented the combined oral contraceptive pill.