Robert R. Gagne, 64, a chemical industry entrepreneur, died on Feb. 18 in New Orleans after a brief illness.
Born in Fitchburg, Mass., Gagne earned a B.S. in chemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute before receiving a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Stanford University in 1974. Working in the research group of James P. Collman at Stanford, Gagne helped to develop picket-fence porphyrins.
Gagne then served as an assistant professor at California Institute of Technology for four years before founding Maxdem, a chemical research and development firm in San Dimas, Calif., in 1983. Later, he moved to Mississippi and, in 2002, founded Mississippi Polymer Technologies, which developed a new family of transparent and amorphous thermoplastic polyphenylene polymers. Gagne sold Mississippi Polymer Technologies to Solvay in 2006.
Gagne joined ACS in 1972.
Active in the Southern Mississippi business community, Gagne helped many people start and grow their own businesses.
He is survived by his mother, Eva Gagnon; brothers, Roger, Normand, Francis, and Richard; stepbrother, Guy Gagnon; and stepsisters, Christine Bellabarba and Michelle Peel.