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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 70
May 19, 1893-November 7,1986
BY C. EABORN
HENRY GILMAN, one of the outstanding organic chemists of the century, and one of its best known chemical personalities, died on 7 November 1986. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on 9 May 1893, the third member of a family of six sons and two daughters. His father was a tailor, active in trade union affairs. He attended a high school in Boston and from there went on to Harvard University where he received the B.S. degree (summa cum laude) in 1915. His first acquaintance with research came during his final year as an undergraduate, during which he worked with Roger Adams on the synthesis of substituted phenyl esters of oxalic acids, demonstrating the use of the new reagent oxalyl chloride; an account of the results appeared in the Journal of the American Chemical Society in 1915 (1). This experience was of major importance in arousing Gilman's interest in research and in 1976 he recalled it in the following terms : 'A sheer delight. Here I was, just a senior. We'd work at night until 11 or 12 o'clock, without
Reprinted with permission of the Royal Society, London, England. The original, in Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 1990, vol. 36, pp. 153-72, includes, on microfiche, the complete version of Gilmania, a full account of Gilman's research contributions, and a complete list of his publications