Stanley Kirschner | October 5, 2009 Issue - Vol. 87 Issue 40 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 40 | p. 48 | Obituaries
Issue Date: October 5, 2009

Stanley Kirschner

Department: ACS News
Keywords: Obituaries, People

Stanley Kirschner, 80, an emeritus professor of chemistry at Wayne State University, died at his home in Detroit on July 16, 2008.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Kirschner served in the Navy before leaving to earn a B.S. in chemistry from Brooklyn College in 1950 and an A.M. degree from Harvard University in 1952. Two years later, he earned a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, under John C. Bailar Jr. He then joined the faculty at Wayne State, becoming a full professor in 1960 and retiring in 1992.

Kirschner received numerous awards including the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching from Wayne State in 1969, the Heyrovsky Medal of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in 1978, and the Catalyst Award for Teaching Excellence from the Chemical Manufacturers Association in 1984. He received both the ACS Henry Hill Award and the Engineering Society of Detroit’s Gold Award in 1995.

He published 100 papers focused on the stereochemistry of coordination compounds, the Pfeiffer effect, and the anticancer activity of platinum complexes.

Kirschner was active in the International Conference on Coordination Chemistry from 1959 to 2002 and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1952. Kirschner served as a visiting professor worldwide and received honorary membership in many international science societies. He learned to speak many languages and was an accomplished trumpet player.

He is survived by his wife, Esther; his daughter, Susan; son, Daniel; and one granddaughter.


Susan J. Ainsworth writes obituaries. Obituary notices may be sent to and should include a detailed educational and professional history.

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