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Robert E. Gawley

by Linda Wang
April 8, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 14

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Credit: Russell Cothren
Robert Gawley
Credit: Russell Cothren

Robert E. Gawley, 64, distinguished professor and chair of the chemistry and biochemistry department at the University of Arkansas, died on March 18 while skiing with friends near Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Gawley’s research interests included stereo­chemistry and methods of asymmetric synthesis; carbanion chemistry, with an emphasis on structure, reactions, and synthetic applications of chiral organometallics; new N-heterocyclic carbene ligands; and dendrimers.

Gawley joined ACS in 1971 and was the current program chair for its Division of Organic Chemistry. He had been planning the division’s symposia for the spring ACS national meeting in New Orleans.

He earned a B.S. in chemistry from Stetson University in 1970 and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Duke University in 1975. He served as a research associate at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, from 1975 to 1977. Prior to moving to the University of Arkansas, Gawley served as a faculty member at the University of Miami from 1977 to 2002.

In addition to his passion for chemistry, he loved music and dancing.

Gawley is survived by his wife, Lorraine, and two sons, John and James.

Obituary notices of no more than 300 words may be sent to Susan J. Ainsworth at ­s_ainsworth@acs.org and should include an educational and professional history.

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