American chemist who, along with Jean-Marie Lehn and Donald J. Cram, was awarded the 1987 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their development and use of molecules with structure-specific interactions of high selectivity.
Charles J. Pedersen was born in Pusan, Korea, on October 3, 1904. His
father Brede Pedersen, was a Norwegian marine engineer who left home
as a young man and shipped out as ann engineer on a steam freighter
to the Far East. His mother, Takino Yasui , was born in 1874 in Japan.
He had a sister, Astrid, five years his senior, and an elder brother
who died in childhood prior to his birth.
As a new scientist he was initially set to work on a series of typical
problems, which he solved successfully. After a while, he began to search
for oil-solvable precipitants for copper, and he found the first good
metal deactivator for petroleum products. As a result of his work, he
developed a great interest in the effects of various ligands on the
catalytic properties of copper and the transition elements generally
and worked in the field for several years.
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