Linus Pauling, an OSU alum (Oregon Agricultural College, class of 1922), was among the most decorated of American scientists. He received his first honorary doctorate from his alma mater in 1933, and in rapid succession was similarly honored by institutions including Oxford University, the University of Chicago, Princeton University, Cambridge University and the Sorbonne. By the time of his death, Pauling had been awarded forty-seven honorary doctorates. Not included in this total is the honorary diploma received in 1962 from Washington High School in Portland, Oregon. Interestingly, Linus Pauling, the pre-eminent chemist of the twentieth century, never graduated from high school, having neglected to take a required course in American history.

Pauling likewise received every important award that a chemist can receive. He was the first recipient of the A.C. Langmuir prize (1931), given by the American Chemical Society to the most promising American chemist under the age of forty. In chemistry he was also awarded the Willard Gibbs Medal (1946), the Humphry Davy Medal (1947), the T.W. Richards Medal (1947), the G.N. Lewis Medal (1951), the M.V. Lomonosov Medal (1978), the Joseph Priestley Medal (1984), and others; in medicine, the Thomas Addis Medal (1955) of the American Nephrosis Society, the John Phillips Medal (1956) of the American Association of Physicians, the John K. Lattimer Medal (1981) of the American Academy of Urology, and others; in mineralogy the Washington A. Roebling Medal (1967) of the American Mineralogical Society; and in mathematics the Pierre Fermat Medal (1957). He was also presented the Presidential Medal for Merit (1948) by President Harry Truman and the National Medal of Science (1975) by President Gerald Ford.

Linus Pauling remains the only person to have won two unshared Nobel Prizes (Chemistry, 1954; Peace, 1962).

Linus Pauling with his two Nobel medals, 1986. (1986i.170)
Linus Pauling with his two Nobel medals, 1986. (1986i.170)

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Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 1954. Medal - Obverse.
Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 1954

Amedeo Avogadro Medal, 1956. Medal - Obverse.
Amedeo Avogadro Medal, 1956

National Academy of Science Medal in Chemical Sciences, 1979. Medal - Obverse.
National Academy of Science Medal in Chemical Sciences, 1979

Nobel Prize for Peace, 1962. Medal - Obverse.
Nobel Prize for Peace, 1962

Laurent Lavoisier Medal, 1986. Medal - Obverse.
Laurent Lavoisier Medal, 1986

Vannevar Bush Award, 1989. Medal - Obverse.
Vannevar Bush Award, 1989

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