Issue Date: November 14, 2011 | Web Date: November 30, 2011
Bryce L. Crawford Jr.
Bryce L. Crawford Jr., 96, a professor emeritus of physical chemistry at the University of Minnesota, Priestley Medalist, and former member of the ACS Board of Directors, died on Sept. 16.
Born in New Orleans, Crawford earned an A.B. in 1934, an A.M. in 1935, and a Ph.D. in 1937, all in chemistry from Stanford University. He then spent two years at Harvard University as a National Research Fellow, working in the laboratory of E. Bright Wilson Jr., before serving as a chemistry instructor at Yale University for one year.
Crawford joined the chemistry department at the University of Minnesota in 1940 as an assistant professor. He became a full professor in 1946, chaired Minnesota’s chemistry department from 1955 to 1960, and was dean of its graduate school from 1960 to 1972. He retired in 1985.
He held Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowships during his career, which focused on the study of molecular spectroscopy.
Crawford was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts & Letters and was named a fellow of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy in 2004. He served as a chairman of the President’s Committee for the National Medal of Science and as a member of the Science Development Advisory Panel of the National Science Foundation.
An emeritus member of ACS, Crawford joined in 1934 and served on the society’s board of directors from 1969 to 1972. He received the society’s Priestley Medal in 1982.
As a high school student in El Paso, Texas, he won a national chemistry essay contest and received his award in Menlo Park, N.J., where he met Henry Ford and Thomas Edison.
A collector of train memorabilia, he was a longtime fan of Sherlock Holmes and Glenlivet Scotch whiskey, as well as a founding member of both the Norwegian Explorers Club and the Minnesota Scion Society.
His wife, Ruth, died in 1998. He is survived by his sons, Bryce III and Craig; daughter, Sherry; and eight grandchildren.
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