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Biographical Memoirs, Volume 88
by Gutowsky showed that NMR spectra are modified when nuclei are involved in various types of chemical exchange. This provided chemists and biochemists with an important new technique to measure chemical exchange rates and to determine the nature of exchange processes.
Herbert Sander Gutowsky was born on November 8, 1919, in Bridgman, Michigan. He was one of seven children: six boys and one girl. They all lived on the family farm and helped with the farm work. Herb spent his summer “vacations” on their farm, working in the fields 10 hours a day, six to seven days a week. Evidently, farm life and work instilled a strong work ethic that influenced Herb’s entire life. While on the farm, Herb attended a one-room elementary school. Later, after his mother died, during the tough years of the Great Depression, the family sold the farm and moved to Hammond, Indiana, where Herb attended Hammond High School.
As a 16-year-old, Herb got a job distributing newspapers to help support the family. In spite of the economic hardships Herb wanted to get a university education. He borrowed money from one of his older brothers and attended Indiana University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in chemistry with concentration in mathematics, physics, and astronomy. In fact, at one point Herb considered becoming an astronomer. He joined the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps at Indiana University and particularly enjoyed being a member of the precision drill team.
After receiving his A.B. in chemistry, Herb entered graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley, where he spent one year before volunteering for active duty in the military. He joined the Army several months before Pearl Harbor and became an officer for materials procurement