Nicholas Turro (1938 – 2012)

  • Author: ChemViews
  • Published Date: 28 November 2012
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
thumbnail image: Nicholas Turro (1938 – 2012)

Professor Nicholas J. Turro, Columbia University, USA, passed away on November 24, 2012, as a result of pancreatic cancer. Turro was a world leader in the fields of organic and supramolecular photochemistry and made many contributions to the understanding of reaction pathways of highly energetic molecules. For example, he used time-resolved laser spectroscopic methods to generate and characterize short-lived organic intermediates, such as carbenes and radical pairs.


Nicholas Turro studied chemistry at Wesleyan University, Connecticut, USA, graduating in 1960. He earned his Ph.D. in organic photochemistry at Caltech, USA, in 1963 under the supervision of Professor George Hammond. He spent a year as a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University, USA, before joining the faculty at Columbia University as an instructor. Turro was promoted to professor there in 1969. From 1981–1983, Turro served as the Chair of Columbia’s chemistry department and he later co-chaired the chemical engineering department (1997–2000).


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