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Herbert O. House

by Susan J. Ainsworth
February 10, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 6

Herbert O. House, 83, an emeritus professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry at Georgia Institute of Technology, died at his home in Alpharetta, Ga., on Oct. 2, 2013, after a long illness.

Born in Willoughby, Ohio, House obtained a B.S. in chemistry from Miami University in Ohio in 1950 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 1953 under Reynold C. Fuson.

He then joined the faculty of Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an instructor and was named a professor in 1964. House moved to Georgia Tech in 1971 to become the Vasser Woolley Professor of Chemistry. He served as an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow from 1955 until 1959 and was also a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1964.

House published 180 research papers and authored the textbook “Modern Synthetic Reactions.”

He was a consultant to Union Carbide as well as several pharmaceutical firms. House retired from Georgia Tech in 1990.

House received the ACS Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry in 1975 and the ACS Chemical Health & Safety Award (now the Howard Fawcett Chemical Health & Safety Award) in 1983.

He was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1951.

He was a master gardener and hiked the Appalachian Mountains. He was an ice skating pairs dancer with his wife, Mary.

House is survived by his wife; son, Michael Hammer; daughter, Mary Moon; and six stepchildren.

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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