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Biographical Memoirs, Volume 88
CHARLES NORWOOD REILLEY
March 2, 1925–December 31, 1981
BY ROYCE W. MURRAY
CHARLES N. REILLEY WAS BORN in 1925 in Charlotte, North Carolina. His mother, a public school teacher, was widowed when Charles was young; her husband died from an illness. Charles was fascinated with radio and electrical things while still a grammar school child. His older brother Eugene said that when Charlie (everyone called him Charlie except his mother—there it was Charles) got to high school and found out about science, its beauty so attracted him that he never could turn his eyes away again. Reilley went on to become an outstanding scholar in the field of analytical chemistry, with a fundamentally-oriented approach that strongly influenced the character and reputation of that discipline in the 1950s and 1960s. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1977.
Charlie Reilley had enviable personal qualities. He was a soft-spoken, modest person whose conversations revealed a deep intellect and the soul of a teacher. His love for teaching almost certainly was nurtured by his mother, to whom Charlie was a devoted bachelor son until his death. A salute from his colleagues after his death stated: “Charlie Reilley was the friend, teacher, student, and colleague of almost everyone who worked with him. He was a scientist of unlimited imagination. Most of all he was a generous hu-