Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

History of Science Oral History Collection, 2009-2013

Biographical Notes

Mina Carson (b. 1953) is an Associate Professor of History at Oregon State University and the author of Ava Helen Pauling: Partner, Activist, Visionary (Oregon State University Press, 2013).

Kenneth Hedberg (b. 1920) is a graduate of Oregon State College (BS, 1943) and the California Institute of Technology (Ph D., 1948), having studied chemistry at both institutions. While at Caltech, Hedberg studied under Verner Schomaker and interacted frequently with Linus Pauling. In 1956 Hedberg returned to Oregon State College where he joined the faculty of the chemistry department. Primarily a physical chemist, Hedberg, often aided by his wife Lise, has focused his research primarily upon the use of electron diffraction to determine the structures of gas phase molecules. Having formally retired from the department in 1987, Hedberg maintains an active research program as Professor Emeritus.

Martin Karplus (b. 1930) is a graduate of Harvard University (BA, 1950) and the California Institute of Technology (Ph D., 1953). For the majority of his graduate studies at Caltech, Karplus worked under the direction of Linus Pauling. He has since made significant contributions to many fields of physical chemistry. Since 1979 he has served as Theodore Williams Richards Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University.

Albert Kordesch (b. 1949) is the second of four children born to Karl and Erna Kordesch. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Kordesch has enjoyed a thirty-year career in the electronics industry, focusing on the manufacture of silicon semiconductors.

Erna Kordesch (1922-2013), born Erna Böhm, was the widow of Karl Kordesch (1922-2011). A native of Austria, Erna moved to the United States with her husband and two children in 1953, when Karl Kordesch was invited to join the U.S. Signal Corps under the auspices of Operation Paperclip. Once in the U.S., Erna gave birth to two more children. After her children were raised, Erna worked as an occupational therapist in an Ohio hospital before retiring to travel with her husband and support his scientific research.

Hisako Kurotaki (b. 1948) is a Japanese national who emigrated to Canada in the 1970s. A close friend of Teresa and Ralph Spitzer, Kurotaki served as co-executor of Teresa Spitzer's estate upon her death in 1998. In 1999 Kurotaki married Ralph Spitzer.

Stephen Lawson (b. 1951) is Administrative Officer at the Linus Pauling Institute. A Stanford University graduate (BS, 1973), Lawson was hired in 1977 to serve as a research assistant at what was then known as the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine, located near the Stanford campus. Over the next twenty years, Lawson came to assume increasing amounts of responsibility and was named Chief Executive Officer of LPISM in the early 1990s. In 1996 Lawson was among a small handful of LPISM employees to move with the organization to its new location on the campus of Oregon State University.

Christopher Mathews (b. 1937) is an Oregon State University Emeritus Professor of biochemistry. Educated at Reed College (BS Chemistry, 1958) and the University of Washington (Ph D. Biochemistry, 1962), Mathews served on the faculty of Yale University and the University of Arizona before accepting the chairmanship of the OSU Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics in 1978. Respected for his research in enzymology and virology, Mathews helped to found the OSU Center for Gene Research and co-authored, with Kensal van Holde, the successful textbook Biochemistry. Mathews retired from OSU in 2002.

Clifford Mead (b. 1947) served as Head of Special Collections in the Oregon State University Libraries from 1987-2010. During his tenure at OSU he was primarily responsible for the accessioning, processing and preservation of the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers, as well as related outreach activities.

Cheryl Pauling (b. 1957) is the first born child of Edward Crellin Pauling and Lucy Neilan Mills Pauling. A resident of Vancouver, Washington, she is one of Linus and Ava Helen Pauling's fifteen grandchildren.

Kay Pauling, born Kay Cole in 1940, is a retired professor of biology who taught at Foothill College for eighteen years. The second wife and widow of Edward Crellin Pauling, Kay gave birth to the couple's child, David, in 1973.

Linus Pauling, Jr. (b. 1925) is the eldest of Linus and Ava Helen Pauling's four children. A graduate of Harvard Medical School (M.D., 1952) Pauling enjoyed a long career in psychiatry both in private practice and in the administration of psychiatric services at The Queen's Hospital, Honolulu, Hawaii. In the early 1990s, Pauling was appointed Chairman of the Board of the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine. In this capacity, Pauling helped the Institute to avoid financial insolvency and participated in its relocation to the campus of Oregon State University.

Stephanie Pauling, born Stephanie Onishi in 1946, was married to Linus Pauling, Jr. for nearly thirty years. A lifelong resident of Oahu, Stephanie is the mother of one daughter, Carrie.

Robert Richter (b. 1929) is a documentary film maker responsible for many titles, including the Nova production "Linus Pauling: Crusading Scientist" (1977), the first major documentary film devoted to Pauling's life and work.

Eloise Spitzer (b. 1952) is the daughter of Ralph and Teresa Spitzer. Now retired, Eloise Spitzer spent many years practicing law in Canada with a particular focus on the protection and rights of Canada's indigenous populations.

Ralph Spitzer (b. 1918) was a graduate student of Linus Pauling's and promising academic who joined the Oregon State College chemistry department in 1946. Promoted to Assistant Professor in 1947, Spitzer was nonetheless fired from the OSC faculty in 1949 by President August L. Strand, almost certainly because of progressive political views espoused by Spitzer and his wife Teresa. Spitzer eventually matriculated to Canada where he earned an M.D. specializing in chemical pathology and co-founded a successful diagnostic laboratory firm, C.J. Coady Associates.


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