Nobel Prize-winning chemist was 95
William S. Knowles, a NobelPrize-winning chemist died on June 13 in his home in Chesterfield, Mo at 95. He helpeddevise the chemical process used to make a drug for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
He had complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, said his daughter Lesley McIntire.
Survivors include his wife of 66 years, the former Lesley “Nancy” Cherbonnier of Chesterfield; four children, Lesley McIntire of Kirkwood, Mo., Sarah Knowles and Peter Knowles, both of Seattle, and Elizabeth Knowles of New York; and four grandchildren.
Dr. Knowles’s work
Dr. Knowles was honored with the 2001 Nobel Prize in chemistry for having helped open “a completely new field of research” about chemical catalysts that create only the desired form of a molecule.
The prize was divided, with one half given jointly to Dr. Knowles and Ryoji Noyori of Nagoya University in Japan and the other half to K. Barry Sharpless of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif.
“I always thought it would be a neat idea,” Dr. Knowles once said of his work on asymmetric catalysts. “If only I could figure out how to do it.”
He said the honor of receiving the Nobel Prize so late in life in 2001 had come “out of the blue,” according to the National Academy of Sciences profile.
“I didn’t really expect it would happen to me,” he said, “but that probably made it doubly sweet.”