BY RICHARD E. EMMERT, HAROLD S. KEMP, ARTHUR B. METZNER, AND CHARLES R. WILKE
ROBERT L. PIGFORD WAS born on April 16, 1917, and died on August 4, 1988. Thus, his lifetime spanned the full period of the early dynamic growth of chemical engineering and of the maturing of the chemical engineering profession. He was one of the best known and most admired leaders of his profession and his name was synonymous with erudition and rigor, with warmth and helpfulness to his colleagues everywhere, and with Southern gentlemanly courtliness and elegance.
Born and raised in Meridian, Mississippi, he was encouraged to excel in whatever he undertook. Early interests embraced the emerging marvels of radio as well as music—interests never fully set aside, even though the chairman of the chemistry department at his undergraduate school, Mississippi State College, swayed his professional interests. Early projects at home included construction of model airplanes and of a crystal set, and as a teenager he assembled the first of an unending array of ham radios. Principal preoccupations during the teenage years were his studies, these hobbies, and music. He was a leader in his high school, Mississippi State, and R.O.T.C. bands as a youth. One of the few academic activities in which he did not excel was a high school course in economics—a subject taken only at the