butions. Pauling was one of the founders of molecular biology in the true sense of the term. For these achievements he was awarded the 1954 Nobel Prize in chemistry. But Pauling was famous not only in the world of science. In the second half of his life he devoted his time and energy mainly to questions of health and the necessity to eliminate the possibility of war in the nuclear age. His active opposition to nuclear testing brought him political persecution in his own country, but he was finally influential in bringing about the 1963 international treaty banning atmospheric tests. With the award of the 1962 Nobel Peace Prize, Pauling became the first person to win two unshared Nobel Prizes (Marie Curie won one and shared another with her husband). Pauling's name is probably best known among the general public through his advocacy, backed by personal example, of large doses of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) as a dietary supplement to promote general health and prevent (or at least reduce the severity of) such ailments as the common cold and cancer. Indeed, Albert Einstein and Linus Pauling are probably the only scientists in our century whose names are known to every radio listener, television viewer, or newspaper reader.
Pauling was the first child of Herman Pauling, son of German immigrants, and Lucy Isabelle (Darling) Pauling, descended from pre-revolutionary Irish stock. There were two younger daughters: Pauline Darling (born 1902) and Lucile (born 1904). Herman Pauling worked for a time as a traveling salesman for a medical supply company and moved in 1905 to Condon, Oregon, where he opened his own drugstore. It was in this new boom town in the arid country east of the coastal range that Pauling had his first schooling. He learned to read early and started to devour books. In 1910