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Biographical Memoirs: Volume 77
ALWIN MAX PAPPENHEIMER, JR.
November 25, 1908–March 21, 1995
BY H. SHERWOOD LAWRENCE
THERE IS ALWAYS A lingering sadness as we remember and sorely miss our dear friend Pap and, although we mourn our loss, it is also a time to celebrate his life and accomplishments. For he experienced an unusually gifted and full life and felt that he was the most fortunate man on Earth, as he often avowed. It was indeed a life studded with high achievement, surrounded by a proud loving family, devoted friends and colleagues, and successive generations of bright, eager, admiring, and appreciative students and fellows. In each he took the greatest pride and with each he maintained a strong bond over the years.
This is the saga of diphtheria toxin, which is the saga of Alwin M. Pappenheimer, Jr. The science itself has such a stunning and artistic symmetry it can only excite pleasure and admiration to behold. And even more so, since the whole pursuit of this idea encompassed Pap's greatest adventure and tells us so much about this unique man. As a young investigator Pap deliberately set himself the daunting task of unraveling the intricate mechanism of an infectious process in precise biochemical terms. Over the years, despite recurrent vicissitudes and occasional detours, he succeeded triumphantly in doing just that. Of the spate of innovative scientific contributions Pap made during his dis-