Edward Calvin Kendall Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
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Edward Calvin Kendall was born on March 8, 1886, in South Norwalk, Connecticut. After finishing high school, he entered Columbia University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1908. The following year, he earned Master of Science degree in Chemistry and 1910, he was awarded a Ph.D. in Chemistry.
After Edward Calvin Kendall earned his Ph.D., he went to work for Parke, Davis, and Company. His task was to isolate a hormone associated with the thyroid gland. He also worked as a researcher at the St. Luke’s Hospital in New York. Kendall later became the head of the Biochemistry Section in the Graduate School of the Mayo Foundation. Just a year later, in 1916, he became the Director of the Division of Biochemistry.
Throughout his career, Kendall made several major contributions to biochemistry and medicine. He was the first to isolate thyroxine from the thyroid gland. Together with his colleagues, Kendall isolated glutathione and determined its structure. He isolated several steroids from the adrenal gland cortex, one of which was initially called Compound E. Kendall and Mayo Clinic physician Philip Showalter Hench used Compound E for treating rheumatoid arthritis, and the method turned out to be successful. Compound E was later renamed cortisone. For his efforts, Kendall, Hench and Swiss chemist Tadeus Reichstein were awarded the 1950 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
In 1951, Edward Calvin Kendall retired from Mayo clinic after reaching his mandatory retirement age. After that, he moved to work at Princeton University as the Visiting Professor in the Department of Biochemistry. He continued his affiliation with the university until his death in 1972.
Throughout his career, Edward Calvin Kendall was awarded several honors and awards. Besides his Nobel Prize, Kendall was also awarded the Lasker Award and the Passano Foundation Award. He held honorary doctorates from several universities, like Yale University, Columbia University, University of Cincinnati and the National University of Ireland.
In 1915, Edward Calvin Kendall married to Rebecca Kennedy. The couple had four children together. Kendall’s wife died the following year after his death.