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Harry B. Gray

Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry
Founding Director of the Beckman Institute
BILRC Principal Investigator


Harry Barkus Gray was born 14 November 1935 in Woodburn, Kentucky (B.S., Western Kentucky University, 1957). He did graduate work with Fred Basolo and R. G. Pearson at Northwestern University during 1957-60. After earning a Ph.D., he spent a year (1960-61) as an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow working with C. J. Ballhausen at the University of Copenhagen. He moved to New York in 1961 to take up an appointment as Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Columbia University (Associate Professor 1963-65; Professor, 1965-66). In 1966 he moved to the California Institute of Technology, where he is the Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry and Founding Director of the Beckman Institute.

Honors:  Sloan Fellow (1962-64); Franklin Memorial Award (1967); ACS Award in Pure Chemistry (1970); Shoemaker Award (1970); Fresenius Award (1970); National Academy of Sciences (1971); Guggenheim Fellow (1972-73); MCA Award for Excellence in Chemistry Teaching (1972); Harrison Howe Award (1972); Phi Beta Kappa Scholar (1973-74); Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters (1974); ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry (1978); Kentucky Colonel (1978); Ira Remsen Award (1979); Tolman Medal (1979); American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1979); CCNY Scientific Achievement Award (1981); Distinguished Scientist Award, ACS Kalamazoo Section (1983); ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry (1984); Edgar Fahs Smith Award (1984); D.Sc.h.c., Northwestern (1984); Bailar Medal (1984); Centenary Medal, Royal Society of Chemistry (1985); National Medal of Science (1986); Pauling Medal (1986); D.Sc.h.c., Rochester (1987); D.Sc.h.c., Chicago (1987); Honorary Member, Italian Chemical Society (1988); California Scientist of the Year (1988); Fellow of AAAS (1989); ACS Alfred Bader Award in Bioinorganic Chemistry (1990); ARCS Foundation Man of Science (1990); AIC Gold Medal (1990); D.h.c., University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse (1991); ACS Priestley Medal (1991); Fil.dr.h.c., Göteborg (1991); Dickinson-Priestley Award (1991); Waterford Award, Scripps Research Institute (1991); Madison Marshall Award (1991); BGHS Hall of Honor (1992); Gibbs Medal (1992); Linderstrøm-Lang Prize (1992); Laurea h.c., Firenze (1993), D.Sc.h.c., Bowling Green State Univ. (1994); D.Sc.h.c., Columbia (1994); Basolo Medal, Northwestern (1994); Royal Academy (Göteborg) (1995); D.Sc.h.c., University of Pennsylvania (1995); Sierra Nevada Distinguished Chemist (1995); D.L.h.c., Illinois Wesleyan; WKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni (1995); D.Sc.h.c., Oberlin College (1996); Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (1997); ICA Sigillum Magnum (1997); D.Sc.h.c., University of Arizona (1997); Evans Award, Ohio State (1997); Eastman Professor, Oxford (1997-98); C&EN 75 Award (1998); Chandler Medal, Columbia (1999); American Philosophical Society (2000); Royal Society of Great Britain (2000); Harvey Prize, Technion (2000); ACS Pimentel Award (2001); ACS Kosalopoff Award, (2001); ACS Oesper Award (2001); D.Sc.h.c., Carleton University, Ottawa (2001); Nichols Medal (2003); Wheland Award, Chicago (2003); NAS Award in Chemical Sciences (2003); D.Sc.h.c., University of South Carolina (2003); Dwyer Medal, Australia (2003); D.Sc.h.c., Copenhagen (2003); Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry (2004); Wolf Prize for Chemistry (2004); RSC Wilkinson Medal (2004); Honorary Fellow, RSC (2005); Distinguished Visiting Professor, HKU (2005); City of Florence Prize (2006); D.Sc.h.c., Edinburgh (2006); Eraldo Antonini Award, Rome (2008); OAK Award (2008); Pupin Medal, Columbia (2008); Academia Lincei, Rome (2008); Schulich Award, Technion (2008); ACS Fellow (2009); Welch Award in Chemistry (2009): Oregon Creativity Award (2010); Japan SCC Award (2010). Alpha Chi Sigma Hall of Fame (2012); Honorary Member, SBIC (2012); D.Sc.h.c., Occidental College (2013); Othmer Gold Medal (2013); Ph.D. h.c., Weizmann Institute of Science (2013); T. W. Richards Medal (2014); D.Sc.h.c., Simon Fraser University (2015); ACS-NY Section CME Leadership Award for Propelling Science (2017); D.Sc.h.c., Carleton College (2017).

Lectures: Gray has given over 200 named lectures; these include the Baker Lectures at Cornell, the Falk-Plaut Lectures at Columbia, the Chambers Lectures and the Rothchild Lecture at Rochester, the Lee and Wheland Lectures at Chicago, the A. D. Little Lectures at MIT, the Gordon Lectures at Toronto, the Lemieux Lectures at Ottawa, the Kolthoff Lectures at Minnesota, the Donald Lectures at McGill, the First Muetterties and the 50th G. N. Lewis Lectures at UC Berkeley, the Baker Lecture at UC Santa Barbara, the Spicer Lecture at Georgia Tech, the Renaud Lectures and the Dow-Karabatsos Lectures at Michigan State, the Liversidge Lecture at Sydney, the Merck Lectures at Rutgers, the Bjerrum-Brønsted-Linderstrøm-Lang Lecture in Copenhagen, the Musher Lecture at the Hebrew University, the Priestley Lectures at Penn State, the Le Bel Seminars at Strasbourg, the Gunning and Engaging Chemistry Lectures at Alberta, the Pauling Lectures at Oregon State, the Gillespie Lectures in London, the Wyeth-Arest, DuPont-Marshall, and Hirschmann Lectures at the University of Pennsylvania, the Basolo Lecture at Northwestern, the Sacconi Memorial Lectures in Florence, the Rayson Huang Lectures in Hong Kong, the George Kistiakowsky Lecture at Harvard, the Stauffer Lecture at USC, the Grollman Lecture at Maryland, the Fritz London Lecture and the Edinburgh Lecture at Duke, the Stauffer Lectures at Stanford, the Robbins Lectures at Pomona, the Saugrain Lecture at Hunter, the Nakamoto Lecture at Marquette, the Lee Lecture at UC Irvine, the Chute Lectures at Dalhousie, the Lansdowne Lectures at Victoria, the Kukin Lecture at Yeshiva, the Eraldo Antonini Memorial Lecture in Rome, the Professor Chau Wai Yin Memorial Lecture at Hong Kong Polytechnic, the Schulich Lecture at the Technion, the Lars Ernster Lecture in Stockholm, the Weizmann Memorial Lectures in Rehovot, the Sheldon Shore Lecture at Ohio State, the Edward Teller Lecture at UC Davis, the Helen Free Lectures at the College of Wooster, the Kennedy Lecture at Washington University, the Mahoney Lecture in Amherst, the Hans Freeman Lectures in Sydney, the Sir Jesse Boot Lecture at Nottingham, the Almloef-Gropen Lectures in Oslo and Tromsoe, the Fink Lecture at UCSC, the Kavli Lecture at ACS, the Thomas Lecture at Missouri, the Malcolm Green Lecture at Oxford, the Hirschmann Lecture at Oberlin, the Sherry Lectures at Georgia Tech, the Parry Lecture at Utah, the BSA Distinguished Lecture at Brookhaven, the Bruce King Lecture at Georgia, and a Molecular Frontiers Lecture in Budapest.

Service (1980-2018): SSRL Advisory Committee (2015-); SPC, SLAC-Stanford (2008-2014); PNAS Editorial Board, (2005-); President, Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (2002-2004); Board of Trustees (1995-2001, Chairman, 2000), Gordon Research Conferences; Council, National Academy of Sciences (1986-1989); Governing Board, National Research Council (1986-1989); Board of Directors, Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation (1994-2015, Chairman, 2013-2015); Chairman, Beckman Foundation Grants Advisory Council (1990-1993); Sloan Foundation Chemistry Advisory Committee (1987-1992); Chairman, NSF Advisory Committee for Chemistry (1982-1983); Chairman, NAS Section of Chemistry (1982-1985); Chairman, Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Caltech (1978-1984); Chairman, ACS DIC Bioinorganic Subdivision (1985); NAS-NRC Committee to Survey Opportunities in the Chemical Sciences (1983-1986); NAS/NAE/IOM Federal Budget Priorities Committee (1988); NAS/NAE/IOM COSEPUP (1989-1992); NAS Film Committee (1986-1992); ACS Committee on Professional Training (1976-1984); Chairman, NSF Workshop on Undergraduate Education in Chemistry (1988); ACS Committee on Science (1985-1990); Chairman, Advisory Board, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1987-1989); Chairman, Advisory Committee, INC Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory (1985-1990); Chairman, Chemistry Visiting Committee, Brookhaven National Laboratory (1980); Chairman, Visiting Committee, Solar Energy Research Institute (1982-1983); Chairman, Gordon Conference on Metals in Biology (1982).

Publications: Over 910 research papers and 18 books

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