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Reynold Clayton Fuson
June 1, 1895—August 4, 1979
BY PETER BEAK, DAVID Y. CURTIN, AND DAVID A. LIGHTNER
REYNOLD C. FUSON began his career in organic chemistry at a time when structural determination by chemical methods was the principal area of research and the classification of reactions was just beginning. His research provided insights about structure and reactions that were significant in the development of organic chemistry for over thirty years.
Fuson's scientific contributions were recognized by his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1944, his appointment as a founding member of the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois in 1959, and a number of other honors. Fuson viewed teaching and research as inseparable; he regarded his awards as collective recognition for himself and his students. Throughout his career, Fuson had an outstanding reputation in research, teaching, writing, and as a research advisor.
Fuson was a complex and enigmatic figure, even to those who knew him well. He was usually private and self-contained, but on occasion he generously would share with his students and colleagues one of his many interests. Some found him reserved and remote while others, particularly students in some kind of difficulty or those with rural roots, found him responsive and involved. He retained an