Issue Date: May 16, 2011
F. Gordon A. Stone
F. Gordon A. Stone, 85, a professor emeritus at Baylor University, died on April 6 at his home in Waco, Texas.
Born in Exeter, England, Stone earned a B.A. in 1948 and a Ph.D. in 1952, both from Cambridge University, before spending two years at the University of Southern California as a postdoctoral assistant under the Fulbright program.
In 1954, he joined the department of chemistry at Harvard University as an instructor, becoming an assistant professor in 1957. He was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 1961.
In 1962, Stone returned to England as the first chair of inorganic chemistry at Bristol University. He remained in that role until 1990, when he joined Baylor as its Robert A. Welch Distinguished Professor.
“Stone was one of the true giants of organometallic chemistry, having played a leading role in the emergence of this field on both sides of the Atlantic,” says Anthony F. Hill, head of inorganic chemistry at the Australian National University.
During his 60 years of active research, Stone coauthored more than 900 academic publications. He also founded and coedited, with Robert West, 50 volumes of “Advances in Organometallic Chemistry,” and coedited, with E. W. Abel and Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson, two multivolume editions of “Comprehensive Organometallic Chemistry.” He also served on the editorial boards of numerous journals.
In 1990, Stone was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1976 and was a recipient of the society’s Davy Medal in 1989 and of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Longstaff Medal in 1990. He received the ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry in 1985 and the Chugaev Medal of the Kurnakov Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1978. Stone was a member of ACS, joining in 1958.
His autobiography, “Leaving No Stone Unturned,” was published in 1993 by ACS as part of the series Profiles, Pathways & Dreams.
Stone’s wife of 51 years, Judith, died in 2008. His three sons, James, Peter, and Derek, and seven grandchildren survive him.
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