Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers, 1873-2013

For an extensive, illustrated account of Ava Helen and Linus Pauling's lives, see the Paradowski Chronology.

Pauling Timeline

1901 Linus Carl Pauling born in Portland, on February 28 to Herman and Belle Pauling.
1905 The Paulings move to the farming town of Condon, Oregon, where Herman opens a pharmacy. William P. Murphy, who will win the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1934, also lives in Condon at this time.
1910 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. Shortly thereafter the Paulings move back to Portland.
1916 First semester of chemistry at Washington High School. Due to a scheduling conflict, Pauling is unable to complete the school's American History requirement. He never graduates from high school.
1917 Begins school at Oregon Agricultural College, October. 6, in Corvallis, OR.
1919 OAC chemistry department offers Pauling, a sophomore, a full-time position as assistant instructor in quantitative analysis.
1920 Writes to Arthur Amos Noyes about his interest in coming to the California Institute of Technology.
1921 Does first research, on the effect of magnetism on the orientation of iron crystals when they are electrodeposited from an iron salt solution.
1922 Meets Ava Helen Miller for the first time, she is a student in a class Linus is teaching, "Chemistry for Home Economics Majors".
June 22, graduates from Oregon Agricultural College.
Departs for California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
1923 First published work on the structure of molybdenite with Roscoe Dickinson, 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 on June 17, in Salem, OR.
1925 Linus Carl Pauling, Jr. born, March 10.
Receives Ph.D. in chemistry, minoring in physics and mathematics, Dissertation entitled "The Determination with X-rays of the Structure of Crystals."
1926 Chosen for Guggenheim Fellowship. Goes to Europe with Ava Helen, leaving Linus Jr. with Ava Helen's mother.
1927 Publishes one of his greatest papers, "The Theoretical Prediction of the Physical Properties of Many-Electron Atoms and Ions, Mole Refraction, Diamagnetic Susceptibility, and Extension in Space."
Returns to Caltech and is named Assistant Professor of Theoretical Chemistry.
1930 Works on quantum mechanics in Germany at Arnold Sommerfeld's Institute for Theoretical Physics; resolves problems concerning quantum mechanics of the chemical bond.
1931 Peter Jeffress Pauling born, February 10.
Made full professor at Caltech.
Receives the first A.C. Langmuir Prize of the American Chemical Society.
1932 Linda Helen Pauling born, May 31.
Meets Albert Einstein, who attends a seminar conducted by Pauling on the quantum mechanics of the chemical bond.
1933 Elected youngest member of the National Academy of Sciences.
Receives his first honorary degree from Oregon State College.
1934 Receives three-year grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to support research on the structure of hemoglobin.
1935 Publishes, with E. Bright Wilson, Jr., Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, with Applications to Chemistry.
1937 Is appointed Director of the Gates Laboratory and Chairman of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.
Edward Crellin Pauling born, June 4.
1939 Publishes The Nature of the Chemical Bond, and the Structure of Molecules and Crystals. This book, Pauling's greatest, becomes, by the end of the century, "the most cited book in the scientific literature."
1940 Becomes involved in various types of war work in explosives, rocket propellants, and medical research. Also develops the Pauling Oxygen Meter.
1941 Receives the William H. Nichols Medal.
Diagnosed with glomerulonephritis, a commonly fatal renal disease. 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. It likely saves Pauling's life.
1942 Ava Helen Pauling speaks out against the internment of Japanese - Americans.
Pauling, Dan Campbell, and David Pressman announce successful formation of artificial antibodies.
In the Fall, J. Robert Oppenheimer offers Pauling a job as Director of the Chemistry and Metallurgy Division for the Manhattan Project. Because of his nephritis and involvement with other war projects, Pauling declines.
1945 Pauling and Campbell announce successful development of a substitute for blood plasma called oxypolygelatin.
Aids in the preparation of the Bush Report (about science in U.S. after WWII); argues that it is the board's responsibility to encourage research on how to avoid war.
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.
At the urging of Ava Helen, decides to devote a large portion of his time learning about subjects relating to the question of how to abolish war from the world.
1946 Receives the 35th Willard Gibbs Medal of the Chicago section of the American Chemical Society.
At the request of Albert Einstein, joins in the formation of the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists.
1947 Receives the Theodore William Richards Medal of the Northeast Section of the American Chemical Society.
Publishes a textbook, General Chemistry, which revolutionizes the teaching of college chemistry.
Awarded the Davy Medal of the Royal Society of London.
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."
1948 Awarded the Presidential Medal for Merit.
Attacks again the problem of the structure of proteins and this time finds that he can formulate a structurally satisfactory helical configuration.
1949 Becomes president of the American Chemical Society for 1949. 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.
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.
1950 Publishes College Chemistry, a more popular treatment of basic chemistry than his General Chemistry.
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.
1951 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. 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 antithetical to Marxism.
1952 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". Pauling planned to visit England to take part in a meeting on the structure of proteins. He eventually receives a limited passport, but misses the England conference, where Rosalind Franklin's crystallographic photos of DNA are displayed for the first time.
1953 Pauling and Corey publish "Stable Configurations of Polypeptide Chains" in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. It becomes one of his most heavily-cited publications.
1954 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, Pauling receives the Nobel Prize from King Gustav Adolph VI.
1955 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.
1956 Receives the Amadeo Avogadro Medal in Rome. He gives a speech on Avogadro in Italian.
Heads a team of scientists exploring the molecular chemistry of mental disease.
1957 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. In response to the enthusiastic reception accorded his speech, he composes an appeal to end atomic-bomb tests, which is promptly signed by over 100 members of the Washington University science department. The famous United Nations bomb test appeal is conceived.
1958 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.
Publishes No More War!
Elected to the Soviet Academy of Sciences.
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.
1959 Formulates 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.
1960 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 around the world.
On June 21, Pauling testifies before the Senate Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act in Washington, D.C.
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.
1961 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."
1962 On April 24, 1962, 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.
Receives an honorary high school diploma from Washington High School.
In the November elections, Pauling receives 2,694 write-in votes for United States Senator from California.
1963 Files a libel lawsuit against William F. Buckley's National Review.
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".
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. He leaves C.I.T. after a forty-two year association.
On December 10 in Norway, Pauling receives the Nobel Peace Prize for 1962.
Resigns from the American Chemical Society because of his dissatisfaction with the attitude of the Society toward him, the bomb-test suits, and his Nobel Peace Prize.
1965 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.
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.
1967 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.
In December, Ava Helen is hospitalized after suffering a small stroke. She recovers completely.
1969 Accepts an appointment at Stanford University as Professor of Chemistry.
1970 Publishes "Evolution and the Need for Ascorbic Acid" in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Awarded the International Lenin Peace Prize for 1968-1969.
Publishes Vitamin C and the Common Cold. The book becomes a best seller and will win the Phi Beta Kappa Book Award in 1971 as one of the most distinguished and important works published in 1970.
1971 Dr. Ewan Cameron notifies Pauling of his work in Scotland with 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.
1972 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.
1973 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 detente.
1974 The Institute of Orthomolecular Medicine changes its name to the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine. Pauling retires from Stanford University one month later.
1975 Linus Pauling and Peter Pauling publish Chemistry.
Awarded the National Medal of Science.
1976 Delivers the Centennial Address of the American Chemical Society in New York. His speech is entitled "What Can We Expect for Chemistry in the Next 100 years?"
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.
1977 Governor Bob Straub of Oregon declares June 1 "Linus Pauling Day" in Oregon.
1978 Receives the Lomonosov Gold Medal, the highest award of the Soviet Academy of Science.
1979 First recipient of the United States National Academy of Sciences Medal in the Chemical Sciences.
Cameron and Pauling publish Cancer and Vitamin C.
1981 Delivers the inaugural Ava Helen Pauling Lecture for World Peace at Oregon State University.
On November 1, Ava Helen 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.
Ava Helen Pauling dies of stomach cancer on December 7, following an illness that lasted 5 years and 3 months.
1982 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.
1983 Publishes the 25th Anniversary Edition of No More War!
The American Chemical Society announces that Pauling will receive its most prestigious award, the Priestley Medal, in 1984.
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.
1986 Publishes How to Live Longer and Feel Better. The book makes the New York Times best-seller list.
In April 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.
1987 Pauling and Cameron begin to advocate the use of vitamin C in the treatment of AIDS.
Delivers a special series of the George Fisher Baker Non-resident Lectures in Chemistry commemorating the 1937 Lecture Series; entitled "The Nature of the Chemical Bond."
1989 Receives the Vannevar Bush Award of the National Science Foundation.
Participates in the discussions about "cold fusion" and offers a chemical explanation for what some have interpreted as a nuclear phenomenon.
1991 Publishes an appeal to stop the rush to war in the Persian Gulf.
Theorizes, with Matthias Rath, that ascorbate deficiencies are a primary cause of heart disease.
Diagnosed, in December, 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.
1994 On August 19, Linus Pauling dies at Deer Flat Ranch, Big Sur, California.

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