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Irving S. Goldstein

by Susan J. Ainsworth
March 4, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 9

Irving S. Goldstein

Irving S. Goldstein, 91, a professor emeritus of wood and paper science at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, died on Sept. 25, 2012.

Born in the Bronx, N.Y., Goldstein received a B.S. in chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1941, an M.S. in chemistry from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1944, and a Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry from Harvard University in 1948. While completing his education, he served on active duty in the Navy Reserve, earning the rank of lieutenant.

Goldstein spent the first 20 years of his career engaged in industrial research. After starting out at North American Rayon in Elizabethton, Tenn., he became manager of wood chemistry research at Koppers in Pittsburgh. Subsequently, he moved to Chicago, serving first as a senior research scientist at Nalco Chemical and later as manager of paper research at Continental Can.

He shifted into academia in 1968, accepting an appointment as professor of forest science at Texas A&M University. Three years later, he became professor and head of the wood and paper science department at North Carolina State. He retired in 1992 and served as a consultant to many industry and government organizations.

In his research, Goldstein focused on pulping, bleaching, and papermaking; the chemical utilization of wood, lignin, and bark; and the treatment of wood for resistance to decay, insects and marine borers, chemicals, and fire.

His work resulted in 17 patents and more than 150 publications, including three books. In 1991, he received the American Paper Institute’s Alvin J. Huss Award for the application of chemical principles to improve the conversion of cellulose to ethanol.

Goldstein was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1942 and becoming active in what is now the Cellulose & Renewable Materials Division.

A fellow of the International Academy of Wood Science, he was also a member of many professional organizations.

He is survived by two daughters, Ardath Weaver and Darra Crawford; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. His wife, Helen, and a son, Jared, predeceased him.

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



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