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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 13 Issue 1 (2008) pp 22-27

Moses Gomberg (18661947), Father of Organic Free Radical Chemistry: A Retrospective View on the 60th Anniversary of His Death

George B. Kauffman

Department of Chemistry, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA 93740-8034,

Published online: 1 February 2008

Abstract. Moses Gomberg (18661947), who rose from obscurity as a penniless Russian Jewish immigrant to the award-winning 1931 President of the American Chemical Society, serendipitously discovered the first stable organic free radical, triphenylmethyl, in 1900. His career and work, both pure and applied, are recalled here on the 60th anniversary of his death.

Key Words: Chemistry and History; biography; organic chemistry; free radicals; pure chemistry; applied chemistry; industrial chemistry; serendipitous discoveries; Nobel Prize; American Chemical Society

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (246 KB) HTML format

Issue date: February 1, 2008

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