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Pauling was known for being outspoken and for leaping over scientific boundaries-from physics to chemistry to biology to medical research. This collection draws a vivid portrait of a remarkable man-scientist, humanist, and activist-highlighting his larger-than-life personality and his singular achievements.
As both scientist and citizen, Pauling was passionate and deeply thoughtful. He wrote The Nature of the Chemical Bond, one of the most cited sources in scientific history, and won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954. He risked his reputation during the McCarthy years as a vocal opponent of Cold War policies and nuclear proliferation. As a result, he was vilified by the press, investigated by the FBI, and awarded the 1962 Nobel Peace Prize. In the 1970s, Pauling again gained international recognition, this time for his advocacy of megadoses of vitamin C as a cure for cancer and cold prevention.
The Roots of Genius
* * *
Tom Hager spent five years researching the life of Linus Pauling while preparing two biographies, Force of Nature: The Life of Linus Pauling (Simon & Schuster 1995) and Linus Pauling and the Chemistry of Life (Oxford University Press 1997). Hager interviewed Pauling numerous times; talked to friends, colleagues, and family members; scoured archives; visited Pauling's childhood haunts; and pored over Pauling's personal papers in the Special Collections section of the Oregon State University Library, at Pauling's home, and in the files of the Pauling Institute, looking for the keys that would unlock and explain his subject's unique personality. The following essay distills from those efforts a few of the central influences that helped shape Pauling's sometimes contradictory genius.
I met Linus Pauling first in 1984. The occasion was a meeting of the American Chemical Society. I was covering the meeting as a correspondent for the Journal of the American Medical Association, and Pauling was slated to give a short talk on the medical benefits of vitamin C. I was the only journalist in the press room who expressed much interest. It had been thirteen years since Pauling had achieved international notoriety for his advocacy of very large doses of ascorbic acid to combat everything from the common cold to cancer. Most journalists felt the story had been done to death.
But I showed up in the scheduled lectureroom, a bit early, interested more in the man than the vitamin. I knew that Pauling was the only individual to ever win two unshared Nobel Prizes. I knew that we shared some common background—both raised in the state of Oregon, both trained in science, both interested in medical research. I wanted to hear the greatest person my home state had ever produced, a man variously described as the world's greatest chemist, the greatest living American scientist, and a crackpot.
Pauling strode in, 83 years old, tall, erect, his white hair a wispy corona under a black beret. We were both a bit early; I was the only person in the room. He walked directly to me, introduced himself, and to my amazement began talking to me about the binding properties of tin. I understood very little of it, but I was spellbound. Metallic bonding, he said, had always interested him, and many questions were still unanswered. Pauling seemed to be thinking aloud, working through puzzles, solving theoretical problems as he spoke. He listened politely as I asked a few simple questions. He sketched as he spoke—I still have the page—and stopped only when he realized that the room was filling with an audience unlike any other I had seen at the meeting, a miscellany of buttoned-down scientists, sandaled health-food advocates, and long-haired students. It was time for his formal talk.
I listened, aglow, flattered that the Nobel Laureate had spent five minutes talking with me, a novice journalist. I was charmed by his friendly, enthusiastic manner. He had spoken to me like an equal. He had turned me into a fan.
My experience was not unique. Pauling treated almost everyone like an equal, at least until they demonstrated that they were closed minded, or cruel, stupid, or humorless. Everyone, whether student or teacher, world leader or lab assistant, was accorded the same even-handed, friendly, enthusiastic attention. He had many fans.
Our meeting spurred me to devote several years of my life to finding out more about Linus Pauling. Now, three books later—two of them biographies of Pauling—I remain impressed. I know a great deal more about him than I did on that day in 1984, a great deal more about his family and friends, colleagues and enemies, public successes and private defeats.
But important questions about Pauling remain unanswered. Like most biographers, I found that putting into reasonably good order the facts of his life—a long, diverse and productive life—was easy, while understanding Pauling at deeper levels—levels of emotion, personality, and motivation—was hard.
Pauling's larger-than-life personality was marked by what appear to be contradictions: a lifelong desire to put the world in order contrasted with an enthusiastic eagerness to shake things up; a deep desire for acceptance and normalcy counterpoised by a strong streak of maverick independence; a hankering for hermit-like isolation and solitary thought existing side-by-side with a love of the stage, of publicity and celebrity. Some observers found Pauling arrogant; many others loved him for his humor, humanity, and warmth. Various observers likened him to the Pope, to a fascist, a wizard, a king, a pillar of Ghandhism, an example of Hitlerism. He was a write-in candidate for senator. He was a target of the FBI. He was called brilliant. He was called a nut.
He was a complex individual.
What forces created Linus Pauling? Even after all this time and study, I cannot say. But I can provide some clues.
The first come from his early years. I think it significant that Pauling was born and raised in the Western U.S., in a place and at a time when the pioneer virtues of bravery, perseverance, and hard work were extolled; where people were valued for the work they did, not the name they carried; and where egalitarianism and openness were valued.
Most of his first nine years were spent in the farm town of Condon, in Eastern Oregon, where his father ran a pharmacy. His father's family was of sober and hard-working German immigrant stock; his mother's was somewhat more eccentric. On his mother's side, the Darling family, he had a grandfather who practiced law without a degree; a great uncle who communed with an Indian spirit; an aunt who toured the state as a safecracker (legally; she practiced her skills for a safe company); and a mother whose chronic anemia kept her bedridden for long stretches.
A bright boy, Pauling grew up with erratic adult supervision—especially after his father died when he was nine years old—a subsequent ability to act and think on his own, an expectation of success only after hard work, and romantic memories of cowboys, Indians, and a pharmacy filled with mysterious bottles, Latin labels, potions, and tinctures.
After his father's death, when his mother was relegated to running a boardinghouse on the edge of a much larger city, Portland, and was herself becoming ill, Pauling began exhibiting the counterbalanced traits of independence and duty that would characterize much of his life. As a teenaged "man of the house" he grudgingly took a series of part-time jobs to help his family make ends meet. Communication with his mother was strained, but he did his best to be supportive. At the same time, he developed a deep love of reading and learning, spending hours in the city's fine, large county library, impressing his elementary and high school teachers with his ability to memorize information, then use it creatively in solving problems. A childhood friend's demonstration of a toy chemistry set when Pauling was 14 got him interested in the field; he soon hammered together a small, rude laboratory in the basement of the boardinghouse and stocked it with begged, borrowed, and stolen labware and chemicals. Much of it he obtained on the sly from an abandoned smelter, smuggling home acids and equipment on the town's electric train, in canoes, and on wheelbarrows.
Using his father's old pharmacy books as a starting point, Pauling began learning that chemistry was built on a difficult but ordered system of knowledge. He spent much of his free time in high school down in the basement, learning by doing, creating low-grade explosives to scare girls and impress boys, reading, absorbing a wealth of knowledge about chemistry.
Ordered knowledge and the sense of control he got in the laboratory were important, too. There, he was the master; outside the laboratory, he was at the mercy of his mother, whose illness led to constant demands for help and whose marginally successful boardinghouse led to constant demands for more income.
The effort of keeping these disparate elements in balance led to twin crises in Pauling's senior year of high school. The first came at home. He wanted very much to attend Oregon Agricultural College (OAC, now Oregon State University), where his tuition would be free, and earn a degree in chemical engineering. His mother adamantly insisted that he take a permanent job at a local machine shop after graduating high school. Pauling decided to defy his mother and go to college.
The second crisis came from high school. OAC accepted Pauling early in his senior year. He realized that if he could get his high school diploma early, he could get an early start on college. State law, however, decreed that each high school student must take a full year of American history at the senior level. Pauling figured he could circumvent the rule by taking two terms of the required class simultaneously, but the principal saw things differently. He refused the request. Pauling responded by doing what he thought was right. He dropped out of high school.
Having demonstrated his independent streak, Pauling thoroughly enjoyed his time at OAC. He soon showed that he often knew more than his teachers, when it came to chemistry. By his junior year, he was teaching classes at the request of the chemistry department, and was becoming known as one of the smartest students on campus. His self-confidence grew accordingly. He bantered with his professors. He took oratory classes and developed a love of lecturing. He became optimistically convinced of the power of science to solve societal ills. Not even losing an attempt at a much-desired Rhodes Scholarship could dampen his enthusiasm for long.
In 1922 lightning struck, in the form of an 18-year-old girl. On his first day lecturing to a class of home economics students, on January 6, 1922, Pauling decided to start by measuring the class's basic knowledge. "Will you please tell me all you know about ammonium hydroxide, Miss ..." He ran his finger down the registration sheet, looking for a name he could not possibly mispronounce. "Miss Miller?" He looked up and into the eyes of Ava Helen Miller, a small, strikingly pretty young woman with long, dark hair. She was smiling. And she knew a great deal about ammonium hydroxide.
Three years later—a period of courtship, separation when Pauling started graduate school at Caltech, and scores of sometimes steamy love letters—they were married.
Ava Helen was Pauling's lifelong love. She provided him the emotional sustenance he needed; she impressed him as being one of the smartest people he ever knew: she bore his four children.
Just as important, she redirected his energies from science to social issues. Ava Helen was raised in a politically active, left-wing family, where women were accustomed to speaking their minds and were expected to back their opinions with facts. Her own politics were activist and left-wing (merging into socialist).
The Pauling dinner table became a forum for talking about the issues of the day, from the candidacy of Upton Sinclair to the virtues of Roosevelt's White House. Pauling listened to his wife's views sympathetically, learned, and in the 1930s changed his political affiliation from Republican to Democrat. That was just the beginning. Ava Helen's outrage over the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II became Pauling's, especially after their home was vandalized when they hired a Japanese-American gardener at the close of the war. Ava Helen's charitable attitude toward the Soviet Union became Pauling's. Ava Helen's interests in pacifism and world government became Pauling's.
In 1946, Ava Helen supported Pauling's concerns about the development of atomic weapons, and groomed him as a public speaker on the issue, providing tips on effective speech-making and pushing the content of his talks away from the science of the Bomb to its political repercussions. Under her careful eye, Pauling became one of the world's leading anti-Bomb activists. He was quite serious when, upon winning the Nobel Peace Prize, he noted that Ava Helen deserved a share. He later told reporters, very honestly, that if it had been up to him, he would have concentrated on chemistry. But he kept hammering away at activism, risking his career, in order to retain the respect of his wife.
Add to these influences—growing up in the West, the death of a father at an early age, a weak and demanding mother, a strong and activist wife—what appears to be a natural ebullience and optimism; a good brain coupled with an incredible memory; self-confidence born of early and applauded scientific success; a strong basic desire, common to so many scientists, to understand the world; and a true dedication to decreasing the sum of human suffering, and a picture of Pauling begins to emerge.
Readers of this book are invited to flesh out this sketch by reading the words of Pauling himself, and those of many of his colleagues, students, friends, and enemies in the following selections. Taken together, they form a mosaic portrait of a phenomenal man.
A Pauling Chronology
Robert J. Paradowski
* * *
Linus Pauling felt deeply that he had been shaped by the values of the Western frontier: self-sufficiency, restless energy, love of nature, inquisitiveness, and hard work. One can see these traits in his scientific career, as his insatiable curiosity drove him from one field to another. He liked to work on the frontiers of knowledge, not in safe, crowded fields, and many of his greatest discoveries were made in the interstices between disciplines—between chemistry and physics, chemistry and biology, chemistry and medicine. Francis Crick once called him "the greatest chemist in the world." When Pauling was born, chemistry was a discipline dominated by Germans, but when he died, it was dominated by Americans, and Linus Pauling did much to bring about this transformation.
Linus Carl Pauling is born in Portland on February 28 to Herman and Lucy Isabelle (Darling) Pauling, nicknamed "Belle." He is named Linus after Belle's father and Carl after Herman's.
The Paulings move to the farming hamlet of Condon, Oregon, where Herman opens a drug store. William P. Murphy, who will win the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1934, also lives in Condon at this time.
After a fire destroys his drugstore, Herman moves his family back to Portland.
On May 12, Herman Pauling writes a letter to the Portland Oregonian about his nine-year-old son who is "a great reader" and deeply interested in ancient history and the natural sciences. He asks readers of the newspaper to advise him about the proper works to procure for his child, who has "prematurely developed inclinations."
On June 11, Herman Pauling suddenly dies of a perforated stomach ulcer with attendant peritonitis.
After witnessing a dramatic chemical reaction in the bedroom laboratory of his high-school classmate Lloyd Alexander Jeffress, Pauling decides to become a chemist.
In the spring term at Washington High School Pauling takes his first semester of chemistry.
At the start of the spring term, Pauling signs up for two semesters of American history, which are required to graduate, but the principal refuses to allow him to take the courses simultaneously, and he therefore does not receive a high school diploma. On October 6, Pauling begins school at Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University) in Corvallis, Oregon.
After Pauling leaves college to help support his mother and sisters, Oregon Agricultural College chemistry department offers Pauling, a sophomore, a full-time position as assistant instructor in quantitative analysis.
Pauling writes to Arthur Amos Noyes about his interest in coming to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
Pauling does his first research, on the effect of magnetism on the orientation of iron crystals when they are electrodeposited from an iron salt solution.
Ava Helen Miller is a student in a class Linus is teaching, "Chemistry for Home Economics Majors," and Pauling meets her for the first time.
On June 22, Pauling graduates from Oregon Agricultural College and, at the end of the summer, leaves for Caltech in Pasadena.
Pauling's first published work, written with Roscoe Dickinson, on the structure of molybdenite, appears in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
At the end of his first year of graduate studies, despite family opposition, Linus and Ava Helen marry June 17, in Salem, Oregon.
Linus Carl Pauling, Jr. is born on March 10.
In June, Pauling receives his Ph.D. in chemistry, minoring in physics and mathematics, with his dissertation entitled "The Determination with X-rays of the Structure of Crystals."
In January, the Guggenheim Fellowships are announced and Pauling is chosen as a fellow; he and Ava Helen go to Europe, leaving Linus Jr. with Ava Helen's mother.
One of Pauling's greatest papers is published, "The Theoretical Prediction of the Physical Properties of Many-Electron Atoms and Ions, Mole Refraction, Diamagnetic Susceptibility, and Extension in Space."
Pauling returns to Caltech and is named Assistant Professor of Theoretical Chemistry.
In July, Pauling works on quantum mechanics in Germany at Arnold Sommerfeld's Institute for Theoretical Physics. While visiting Ludwigshafen, Pauling gets Hermann Mark's permission to use his electron-diffraction techniques at Caltech.
In December, Pauling develops a new theory of the quantum mechanics of the chemical bond.
Peter Jeffress Pauling, the Paulings' second son, is born on February 10.
Pauling is appointed full professor at Caltech and, in September, receives the first A. C. Langmuir Prize at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Buffalo, New York.
Linda Helen Pauling is born on May 31.
Pauling meets and talks with Albert Einstein, who is at Caltech for the winter. Einstein attends a seminar on the quantum mechanics of the chemical bond by Pauling and tells reporters that he did not understand the lecture.
Pauling is elected the youngest member of the National Academy of Sciences.
In June, he receives his first honorary degree, Doctor of Science, from Oregon State College.
Pauling applies for and later receives a three-year grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to support research on the structure of hemoglobin and other biologically important substances.
Pauling and E. Bright Wilson, Jr. publish Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, with Applications to Chemistry, a popular textbook for introducing chemists and physicists to the new field of quantum mechanics.
Pauling is appointed Director of the Gates Laboratory at Caltech and Chairman of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Before accepting the position, he insisted on the title of director as well as chairman, as he realized he was not being given sufficient power to run the division the way he would like.
The Paulings' third son and last child, Edward Crellin Pauling, is born on June 4.
The Nature of the Chemical Bond, and the Structure of Molecules and Crystals is published. This book, Pauling's greatest, becomes, by the end of the century, "the most cited book in the scientific literature."
In hopes of defeating the Axis Powers—Germany, Italy, and Japan—who he believes are attempting to conquer the world, Pauling becomes involved in various types of war work in explosives, rocket propellants, and medical research.
In three days, Pauling develops the basic idea for a simple and effective instrument that can measure the partial pressure of oxygen in a gas. He and his collaborators at Caltech develop an oxygen meter, hundreds of which are later built for use in submarines and airplanes.
Pauling receives the William H. Nichols Medal from the New York Section of the American Chemical Society for his fundamental contributions to the nature of the chemical bond.
Diagnosed with glomerulonephritis, a commonly fatal renal disease, Pauling is advised to cancel his memorial address at the Mayo Clinic and return home. A radical new treatment program developed by Dr. Thomas Addis, which stresses consuming a modicum of protein and drinking large amounts of water, is undertaken and followed by Pauling for the next fifteen years. He also takes various vitamins and liver extracts. This treatment is likely to have saved Pauling's life.
Pauling and his wife speak out against the internment of Japanese-Americans.
Pauling, Dan Campbell, and David Pressman announce successful formation of artificial antibodies. Other researchers are unable to reproduce these exciting results.
In the fall, J. Robert Oppenheimer offers Pauling a job as Director of the Chemistry and Metallurgy Division for the Manhattan Project, working with the atomic bomb. Because of his nephritis and involvement with other war projects, Pauling declines.
After three years of work, Pauling and Campbell announce successful development of a substitute for blood plasma called oxypolygelatin.
Pauling serves on a committee to help in the preparation of the Bush Report (about science in the U.S. after World War II), in which he argues that it is the responsibility of the Research Board for National Security to conduct research on how to avoid war.
After hearing about sickle-cell anemia from Dr. William Castle, Pauling gets the idea that cell sickling might be explained by abnormal hemoglobin in the sickled cells.
In August, Pauling becomes concerned upon learning of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He begins giving talks about atomic bombs for local groups, restricting his remarks to the science and technology of the weapon.
At the urging of Ava Helen, he decides to devote a large portion of his time to learning about subjects relating to abolishing war from the world.
He receives the 35th Willard Gibbs Medal of the Chicago section of the American Chemical Society.
At the request of Albert Einstein, Pauling joins in the formation of the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists, whose aim is to publicize the enormous consequences of the discovery of nuclear weapons.
Pauling receives the Theodore William Richards Medal of the Northeast Section of the American Chemical Society.
He publishes a textbook, General Chemistry, which is an immediate success and revolutionizes the teaching of college chemistry.
The Royal Society of London awards him the Davy Medal.
In late December, Pauling writes a pledge on the back of a cardboard placard: "In every lecture that I give from now on, every public lecture, I pledge to make some mention of the need for world peace."
In February, he is awarded the Presidential Medal for Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the U. S. during and after World War II.
Pauling attacks again the problem of the structure of proteins and this time finds that he can formulate a structurally satisfactory helical configuration. As his model appears to contradict data from X-ray crystallography, he tells only Ava Helen about his structure.
Pauling becomes president of the American Chemical Society. In his presidential address he urges American industrial corporations to support a scientific research foundation that will insure them a steady supply of new products. He also makes clear that he is not sympathetic with the aims of the American Medical Association. Liberals and conservatives in and outside of the scientific community criticize his address.
In April, Pauling and Harvey Itano, with Singer and Wells, present their results on sickle-cell anemia as a molecular disease at a meeting of the National Academy of Sciences.
Pauling publishes College Chemistry, a more popular treatment of basic chemistry than his book General Chemistry. It is also a great success.
On November 13, testifying before the California Senate Investigating Committee on Education, Pauling explains for over two hours why he objects to loyalty oaths involving inquiry into a person's political beliefs.
On February 28, his fiftieth birthday, Pauling communicates "The Structure of Proteins: Two Hydrogen-Bonded Helical Configurations of the Polypeptide Chain," to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Written with Corey and H. R. Branson, this paper appears in April.
The USSR Academy of Sciences attacks Pauling's resonance theory of chemical bonding as hostile to Marxism.
Pauling plans to visit England to take part in a meeting on the structure of proteins. However, his request for a passport is denied: "the [State] Department is of the opinion that your proposed travel would not be in the best interests of the United States." He eventually receives a limited passport, but misses the conference, where Rosalind Franklin's crystallographic photos of DNA are displayed for the first time.
Pauling and Corey publish "Stable Configurations of Polypeptide Chains," an extensive summary of their work on protein structure, in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. It becomes one of his most heavily cited publications.
In October Pauling learns that he has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for "his research into the nature of the chemical bond and its application to the elucidation of the structure of complex substances."
Pauling and his family travel to Stockholm where, on December 10, he receives the Nobel Prize from King Gustav Adolph VI.
On July 15, Pauling and over fifty other Nobel laureates issue the Mainau Declaration, which calls for an end to all war, especially nuclear war.
In November, Pauling appears before the Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights. He testifies that he is not and has never been a communist, open or concealed.
Pauling receives the Amadeo Avogadro Medal in Rome. He gives a speech on Avogadro in Italian, as translated for him by an Italian chemist in Illinois.
Pauling and Caltech receive a Ford Foundation grant and form a team of scientists exploring the molecular chemistry of mental disease. Pauling believes many cases of mental disease are most likely the result of gene-controlled mental abnormalities.
On May 15, Pauling speaks to students at Washington University, where he states that no human should be sacrificed to any nation's program of perfecting nuclear weapons. Because of the enthusiastic response to his speech, he composes an appeal to end atomic-bomb tests, which is promptly signed by over one hundred members of the Washington University science department. The famous United Nations bomb test appeal is conceived and widely circulated.
On January 15, Linus and Ava Helen Pauling present the petition to halt bomb tests, plus a list of over nine thousand signers, to Dag Hammarskjöld at the United Nations.
In February Pauling debates, on television, issues of fallout and disarmament with Edward Teller.
In April, Pauling and seventeen others file a lawsuit against the United States Defense Department and the Atomic Energy Commission to stop nuclear tests.
No More War!, a passionate analysis of the implications of nuclear war for humanity, is published.
Pauling is elected to the Soviet Academy of Sciences.
He publishes a paper on the genetic and somatic effects of carbon-14. In this influential paper, he estimates the effect of one year of bomb tests on the next generation.
In April, he formulates the hydrate microcrystal theory of anesthesia.
The Paulings attend the Fifth World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs in Hiroshima, Japan. Pauling is the guiding member of a drafting committee that writes the "Hiroshima Appeal," the principal document issued by the conference. He and his wife deliver lectures at various institutions.
From Sunday, January 31, until Monday morning, February 1, Pauling is trapped on the ledge of a steep cliff near his ranch. His disappearance creates great concern, and his rescue makes news in many publications.
On June 21, Pauling testifies before the Senate Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act in Washington, D.C. He is asked to furnish the letters of the individuals who helped him gather the signatures for his U. N. petition, but expresses concern that they may be subjected to harassment as he has been. He is ordered to reappear.
On October 11, Pauling again appears before the Subcommittee and, under threat of being held in contempt, refuses to reveal the names of those who helped circulate his petition. He is eventually excused without punishment.
On January 2, Time magazine chooses the scientists of the United States as its "Men of the Year." Pauling is one of the scientists on the cover.
On January 16, Linus and Ava Helen Pauling issue "An Appeal to Stop the Spread of Nuclear Weapons" following a nuclear test carried out by France.
On April 24, President Kennedy orders the resumption of atmospheric nuclear tests. On April 28 and 29, Linus and Ava Helen Pauling, with several hundred other demonstrators, march before the White House in protest. On the evening of April 29, Linus and Ava Helen Pauling enter the White House as guests of President and Mrs. Kennedy, who have invited many American Nobel Prize winners to a dinner party.
Pauling receives an honorary high school diploma from Washington High School, in Portland, Oregon.
In the November elections, Pauling receives 2,694 write-in votes for United States Senator from California.
Pauling files a libel lawsuit against William F. Buckley's National Review, claiming that they recklessly and maliciously intended to destroy his good reputation.
On October 10, the day that a partial nuclear test ban treaty goes into effect, the Nobel Peace Prize Committee of the Norwegian Parliament announces the awarding of the 1962 Nobel Peace Prize to Linus Pauling. Reaction by the U.S. media is largely negative—Life magazine declares the announcement "A Weird Insult from Norway." Caltech also does nothing to honor his achievement.
At the end of October, Pauling announces that he has accepted an appointment, effective November 1, as a research professor at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara, California. There he hopes to continue his work in science, medicine, and world affairs. He leaves Caltech after a forty-two-year association.
On December 10 in Norway, Pauling receives the Nobel Peace Prize for 1962. Because of his dissatisfaction with the attitude of the Society toward him, the bomb-test suits, and his Nobel Peace Prize, he resigns from the American Chemical Society.
On August 12, eight Nobel Peace Prize winners issue an urgent appeal to world leaders for an immediate cease-fire and political settlement of the Vietnam War. Pauling, Albert Schweitzer, and Martin Luther King, Jr. are among the signers.
At a meeting of the National Academy of Science, Pauling announces a new theory of the structure of the atomic nucleus. The basic idea of his theory is that protons and neutrons are combined into spherons. He publishes "The Close-Packed-Spheron Theory and Nuclear Fission" in Science.
Pauling takes a one-year leave of absence from the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions to accept a position as professor of chemistry at the University of California in San Diego. He misses contact with other scientists and wishes to return to supervising experimental work.
In December, Ava Helen is hospitalized after suffering a small stroke. She recovers completely.
Pauling accepts an appointment at Stanford University as Professor of Chemistry.
Pauling publishes "Evolution and the Need for Ascorbic Acid" in PNAS.
He is awarded the International Lenin Peace Prize for 1968-1969.
His best-selling book, Vitamin C and the Common Cold, is published. The book will win the Phi Beta Kappa Book Award in 1971 as one of the most distinguished and important works published in 1970.
Dr. Ewan Cameron notifies Pauling of his work in Scotland, administering vitamin C to cancer patients. Pauling replies, stating that he feels strongly that ascorbic acid may be of great value in the prevention and treatment of cancer. This correspondence marks the start of a fruitful collaboration.
Cameron and Pauling submit a paper, "Ascorbic Acid and the Glycosaminoglycans: An Orthomolecular Approach to the Treatment of Cancer and Other Diseases," to PNAS. In a controversial decision, PNAS decides not to publish the work. The paper is eventually published in Oncology.
Pauling is named Director of the Laboratory of Orthomolecular Medicine, a forerunner of the Linus Pauling Institute.
Pauling and David Hawkins edit Orthomolecular Psychiatry: Treatment of Schizophrenia.
Linus and Ava Helen travel to the People's Republic of China. They are among the first Americans to do so in the era of détente.
The Institute of Orthomolecular Medicine changes its name to the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine.
Pauling retires from Stanford University.
Linus and Peter Pauling publish Chemistry.
President Gerald Ford presents Pauling with the National Medal of Science. The previous Nixon Administration had twice postponed the award.
Pauling delivers the Centennial Address, entitled "What Can We Expect for Chemistry in the Next 100 Years?" to the American Chemical Society in New York.
During the summer, Ava Helen experiences troubles with her digestion, and a physician discovers that she has a large tumor in her stomach. She has a three-quarter gastrectomy and recovers well from the surgery.
Pauling publishes Vitamin C, the Common Cold, and the Flu, an updated version of his earlier book.
Governor Bob Straub of Oregon declares June 1 "Linus Pauling Day" in Oregon.
Pauling receives the Lomonosov Gold Medal, the highest award of the Soviet Academy of Science.
Pauling is the first recipient of the United States National Academy of Sciences Medal in the Chemical Sciences.
Cameron and Pauling publish Cancer and Vitamin C, about the nature and causes of cancer, prevention and treatment, and the role of vitamin C in treating the disease.
Pauling delivers the inaugural Ava Helen Pauling Lecture for World Peace at Oregon State University.
On November 1, Ava Helen Pauling is awarded the 5th Ralph Atkinson Award, in celebration of her efforts on behalf of civil liberties and peace. It is her last public appearance.
After several hemorrhages, she dies of stomach cancer on December 7, following an illness that lasted 5 years and 3 months.
In June, Pauling takes a sentimental trip to Oregon and Washington. He revisits several places where he and Ava Helen spent time together. He sees, for the first time, the grave of his grandfather Linus Wilson Darling, in the Condon Cemetery.
Pauling publishes the 25th Anniversary Edition of No More War!
Pauling announces the discovery of a new type of chemical bond that can mimic, for small molecules, the kind of bonding believed to exist in bulk metals.
Pauling receives the American Chemical Society's most prestigious award, the Priestley Medal, for his contributions to chemistry and to the Society.
How to Live Longer and Feel Better, a popular account of Pauling's ideas on nutrition and health, is published. The book makes the New York Times best-seller list.
In April, Pauling announces plans to give all of his papers, as well as those of his wife, to his alma mater, Oregon State University. In December, the first 125,000 (of an eventual 500,000) items arrive on the OSU campus.
Pauling and Cameron begin to advocate the use of vitamin C in the treatment of AIDS.
Pauling delivers a special series of the George Fisher Baker Nonresident Lectures in Chemistry commemorating the 1937 Lecture Series; entitled "The Nature of the Chemical Bond."
Pauling receives the Vannevar Bush Award of the National Science Foundation.
He participates in the discussions about "cold fusion" and offers a chemical explanation for what some have interpreted as a nuclear phenomenon.
Pauling publishes an appeal to stop the rush to war in the Persian Gulf, asking that leaders concentrate on negotiations and economic sanctions instead.
Matthias Rath and Pauling theorize that ascorbate deficiencies are a primary cause of heart disease.
In December, Pauling is diagnosed as having rectal and prostate cancer. Pauling undergoes two surgeries to treat the cancer, but otherwise chooses vitamin C megadoses as his primary form of therapy.
On August 19, Linus Pauling dies at Deer Flat Ranch, Big Sur, California.
Copyright © 2001 Sybil Downing. All rights reserved.