Charles J Pedersen Biography, Life, Interesting Facts


Charles J Pedersen

Birthday :

October 3, 1904

Died On :

October 26, 1989

Birth Place :

Busan, Gyeongsang Province, South Korea

Zodiac Sign :


Charles J. Pederson dealt with the study of properties, reactions, compositions and preparation of carbon compounds. In other words, he was an organic chemist who was linked with the study of crown ethers. For this, Charles received Nobel Prize in Chemistry early in 1987. He became the first scientist to hold a Nobel Prize.

His career began when he joined the University of Dayton. It was here that Charles J. Pederson studied chemical engineering. He went further and entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he graduated with master’s degree. 

Childhood and Early Life

On October 3 in 1904 Charles J. Pederson was born in Busan of South Eastern Korea to a Norwegian, Breder Pederson and Japanese, Takino Yasui. At eight years old, Charles and his family moved to Nagasaki in Japan. It was here that he joined a convent school. After two years, he went to live in Yokohama where he joined an International school named St Joseph College. Before the end of his studies, Charles went to the United States where he majored in chemical engineering at the University of Dayton, Ohio.

Before gaining admission to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Charles Pederson obtained his Bachelor’s degree from his former University. It was in Massachusetts that he received his master’s degree in organic chemistry. Despite being wheeled by his teacher to complete his doctorate, Charles dropped in the middle. He didn’t want to be a burden to his parents.



Charles Pederson landed a job at DuPont Company where he worked in the laboratory. He remained in the position for over three decades. It was here that he was asked to put more effort into his scientific experiments. He finally came with a tetraethyl discovery that brought significant impact to the company.

After some time, Charles went to work on a project that entailed finding a metal deactivator for petroleum products such as gasoline, rubber, and oils. Following his intensive research, Pedersen started to show interest in various catalytic properties of elements such as copper. Following this, he commenced with his research without looking back.

Early in 1940, Charles began his chemist career where he excelled tremendously in the antioxidants field. As a result, his research made him be selected as a research affiliate in DuPont Company. This is regarded as the highest ranks that that company could hold for years to come. The position gave him more power to create and come up with his predictions.

From 1940 to 1950s, Charles Pederson gained more interest in photochemistry which involved the research of quinonimine molecules and phthalocyanine compounds. He came up with a chemical reaction that was referred as polymerization. In the process, he also came up with Neoloy compositions.

After working on several projects in the hydrocarbon polymers field, Charles returned to his early research. He took a chance and learned one thing or two about the effects of catalytic properties. For some time he concentrated on the study of crown ethers.

Early in 1967, Charles Pederson published two of his works. It was here that he explained the process of cyclic polyethers as well as different structures of alkali metal ions. In 1969 at 65 years old, he retired from DuPont Company. He then realized that he had other hobbies such as poetry, fishing, and gardening among others.


Charles Major Works

Early in the 1960s, Charles Pederson rose to fame when he created or came up with crown ethers. It comprised of a family molecule that could grip various metallic atoms. Also, the metallic ions could at times react with organic compounds and produce a chemical reaction.


Personal Life and Achievements

After his retirement from DuPont, Charles Pederson garnered a medal of excellence under the company's organization.

In 1940s Charles J. Pederson married Susan Ault in New Jersey. In 1983 Charles' health started to deteriorate where he was diagnosed with myeloma. He died in 1989 in New Jersey. He became the first scientist to win a Nobel Prize without a Ph.D.

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