Issue Date: February 5, 2007
A Scholar And a Gentleman
C&EN recently noted the passing of a good friend, Nelson Leonard, and included reference to his splendid singing voice (C&EN, Nov. 20, 2006, page 96). At the Organic Symposium of 1957, when I was a newly minted assistant professor, I was seated in a room adjoining the main lecture hall from which the speakers' voices were piped to us. During one discussion period, a particularly pithy comment was delivered in a rich baritone from somewhere in the audience. I asked Harold Shechter, who was sitting beside me, if he could identify the unseen speaker. "Don't you recognize that voice?" Schecter asked. "That's Nelson Leonard." A half-century later, during which I often worked closely with Nelson, I can still hear the voice.
These days the phrase "a scholar and a gentleman" is often received with an indulgent smile, but when applied to Leonard, there was nothing funny about it.
Martin StilesParis, Ky.
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