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Gerritt Post Bean

by Susan J. Ainsworth
March 9, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 10

Gerritt Post Bean, 85, professor of chemistry emeritus at Western Illinois University in Macomb, died in Boulder, Colo., on Nov. 29, 2014.

Born in Amsterdam, N.Y., Bean received a B.S. degree in chemistry from Northeastern University in Boston in 1952 and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Pennsylvania State University in 1956.

After a yearlong stint as a postdoctoral research chemist at Merck & Co., he worked for Althouse Chemical until 1960. He then became an assistant professor at Douglass College, a women’s college at Rutgers University.

In 1967, he joined Western Illinois University, where he later served as chair of the chemistry department for three years. He retired in 1988 and moved to Colorado to become a visiting professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Bean coauthored two books, “The Chemistry of Pyrroles” and “Synthesis of 1H-Pyrroles,” and published many papers in journals including the Journal of Organic Chemistry, Tetrahedron, and the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

He served as a visiting professor at several universities, including the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, and the University of Perugia in Italy.

He received numerous awards and was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1952.

His friends, students, and colleagues will remember him as a bright, kind, and caring person with wide-ranging interests.

He is survived by his wife, Maria Teresa.

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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