William von Eggers Doering

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William von Eggers Doering
Born (1917-06-22)June 22, 1917
Fort Worth, Texas
Died January 3, 2011(2011-01-03) (aged 93)
Waltham, Massachusetts
Residence United States
Citizenship United States
Fields Organic chemistry
Institutions Harvard University, Columbia University, Yale University
Doctoral advisor Sir Reginald Patrick Linstead
Doctoral students Kenneth Wiberg, Andrew Streitwieser, Maitland Jones, Jr., Charles DePuy
Known for Several landmark organic syntheses.
Notable awards ACS Award in Pure Chemistry (1953)

James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry (1989)

Welch Award (1990)

William von Eggers Doering (June 22, 1917 – January 3, 2011)[1] was a Professor Emeritus at Harvard University and the former Chair of its Chemistry Department. Prior to joining the Faculty at Harvard, he was a member of the Chemistry Faculties of Columbia University (1942–1952) and Yale (1952–1968).

He is known in the field of organic chemistry for his work on quinine total synthesis with Robert Burns Woodward.[2] Having published his first scientific paper in 1939 and his last in 2008, he holds the rare distinction of having authored scholarly articles in eight different decades. In 1989, he received the "James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry" of the American Chemical Society and in 1990 the Robert A. Welch Award in Chemistry.[3]

Some of his discoveries include the structure elucidation of the tropylium cation, the discovery of dichlorocarbene, bullvalene and fulvalene and the discovery of the mechanism of the Baeyer–Villiger oxidation.[4]


  1. Chemistrviews obituary retrieved 22nd April 2011
  2. Daintith, p. 968.
  3. James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry, American Chemical Society
  4. Klärner, F.-G. (2011), William von Eggers Doering (1917–2011). Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 50: 2885–2886. doi: 10.1002/anie.201100453


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