Richard Errett Smalley


Date and place of birth:

He was born in Akron, Ohio on June 6, 1943.

Ethnic group and gender:

He is a white male, both parents were born in Kansas City.

Interesting personal and family information:

His interest in Science had many roots. Some came from his mother as she finished her BA Degree, she fell in love with science. it was from his mother that he first learned of' Archimedes, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Kepler, and Darwin. They spent hours together collecting single-celled organisms from a local pond and watching them with a microscope she had received as a gift from his father. Mostly they talked and read together. From her he learned the wonder of ideas and the beauty of Nature. From his father he learned to build things, to take them apart, and to fix mechanical and electrical equipment in general.

His mother, Esther Rhoads, was the third of six children of Charlotte Kraft and Errett Stanley Rhoads, a wealthy manufacturer of furniture in the Kansas City area. She liked the unusual name Errett so much that she gave it to him as his middle name. She picked the name Richard after the crusading English king (the Lion-Hearted).

His father, Frank Dudley Smalley, Jr., was of four children born to Mary Rice Burkholder and Frank Dudley Smalley Sr., a railroad mail clerk in Kansas City. Although his father went by the name of June, short for Junior, he never quite forgave his father for not having given him a name of his own, and for not having aspired to more in life. His father started work as a carpenter, and then as a printer's devil, working for the local newspaper, The Kansas City Star, and later for a farm implement trade journal, Implement and Tractor. By the time he retired in 1963 he had long since risen to be CEO of this company, and a group of several others that published trade journals in the agriculture industry throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Anecdotes (interesting stories about the person):

He had met Judith Grace Sampieri who was a wonderful young secretary at Shell. They were married on May 4 of 1968. Soon thereafter they decided to reapply for graduate school. Since Judy's family lived in New Jersey, he decided to apply to Princeton University, and was accepted. In the late fall of 1968 he was reclassified 1A for the draft and reported to the processing center in Newark for his physical. At the end of the day he ended up in the group who had passed. They were told to put their affairs in order since they would soon be called up. However, in a great stoke of luck, within a week, his wife told him she was pregnant, and within just a few more weeks his draft board reclassified him, which meant he would not be drafted. On June 9, 1969 they were blessed with the birth of a beautiful child, Chad Richard. Later that summer he held his son on his lap as Neil Armstrong first stepped out onto the Moon.

Area of science in which the person was involved:

He received his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1973 at Princeton University, USA. He is a Professor of Chemistry at Rice University since 1981 and also Professor of Physics at the same university since 1990. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences in the USA and other bodies.

Accomplishments (scientific and humanitarian):

*BS 1965 (Michigan)

*MA 1971, Ph.D. 1973 (Princeton)

*Alfred P. Sloan Fellow

*National Academy of Sciences

*American Academy of Arts and Sciences

*Robert A. Welch Award in Chemistry

*1993 Europhysics Prize

Other interesting information:

His research laboratory is best known for the discovery of C60 and the fullerenes in 1985.

Throughout his distinguished research career, he has maintained a strong commitment to teaching. He has also succeeded in making Rice an important center for basic research, having founded the interdisciplinary Rice Quantum institute in 1979.

He has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of the Buckminsterfullerene.


Harold W. Kroto

Date and place of birth:

He was born in 1939 in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, U.K.

Ethnic group and gender:

He is a white male of English ancestry.

Interesting personal and family information:

The most interesting experience for Kroto was being knighted in 1996. Now he goes by the title, "Sir Harold Kroto". Being a true Britain, Harold has kept his family out of the limelight, therefore, any information about his family is difficult to find.

Anecdotes (interesting stories about the person):

One of Kroto's aspirations-to find extraterrestrial buckyballs-was realized in the Bummer of 1992,.when Jeffrey Bada, a geochemist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif., described buckyballs that may have come from outside our solar system. By analyzing the amount and isotope ratio of helium atoms trapped inside the buckyballs found in rocks taken from a 1.8 billion-year old meteor crash Bite in Canada, Bada surmised that the molecules were formed near a red-giant star. This very place Kroto had suggested almost twenty years ago that unusual interstellar carbon chains might be found!

Area of Science in which the person was involved:

Harold Kroto graduated with a degree in Chemistry in 1961 from Sheffield University. In 1964, he received his Ph.D. for research on high resolution electronic spectra of free radicals produced by flash photolysis. After two years of research in electronic and microwave spectroscopy at the National Research Council in Ottawa, Canada, he spent one year at Bell Laboratories NJ studying liquid phase interactions by Raman spectroscopy and he also carried out studies in Quantum Chemistry. He started his academic career at the University of Sussex (Britain) in 1967. Here he began his research on spectroscopic characterization of new molecules that contained multiple bonds. This work led to the production of the first molecules with a carbon phosphorus double bonds. Eventually, this research led-to the discovery of the carbon 60, named Buckminsterfullerene.

Accomplishments (scientific and humanitarian):

*Sir Harold Kroto has a long list of accomplishments beginning in:

* 1981-82, A tildon Lecturer (Royal Society of Chemistry)

* 1990, Elected Fellow of the Royal Society

* 1991, Royal Society Research Fellowship

* 1992, International Prize for New Material (American Physical Society) Italgas Prize for Innovation in Chemistry

*1993, Lonstaff Medal (Royal Society of Chemistry) University Of Limburg (DHC)

*1994, Hewlett Packard Europhysics Prize Poet Hennessy/Louis Vuitton Science Art Prize

*1995, University of Sheffield (Hon. Degree) University of Kingston (Hon. Degree)

* 1996, Knighthood (Sir Harold Kroto)

Other interesting information:

He won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1996.


Deana Morentin

Pat Sullivan


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