1979 George William Parshall

George William Parshall (1929-) worked for DuPont for almost four decades as a chemist in the Central Research and Development Department. Parshall earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Minnesota in 1951 and his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1954 from the University of Illinois. He joined DuPont as a research chemist later that same year, having spent the summer of 1953 assisting chemists at the company's Experimental Station.Show more

Parshall was promoted to Research Supervisor in 1965 and was named Director of Chemical Science in 1979. He was best known for his work in molten salt and membrane catalysis and organometallic compounds. Holder of 18 patents, Parshall authored 60 research papers and two books, one of which, "Homogeneous Catalysis" (1980), became a standard reference work and was re-issued in 1992.


Parshall retired from DuPont in 1992 but continued to serve as a research and chemical management consultant, advising U.S. and other military groups on the best ways to destroy chemical and nuclear weapons. Parshall received many awards for his work in transition metal chemistry and inorganic chemistry, including the Lavoisier Medal from DuPont. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1986 and to the National Academy of Sciences in 1984.