If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.



Obituary: Alex Nickon

by Alexandra A. Taylor
January 2, 2022 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 100, Issue 1


Alex Nickon.
Credit: Courtesy of Linda Lindsay
Alex Nickon

Alex Nickon, 93, died March 24, 2021, in Copper Canyon, Texas.

“Nickon was an authority on the study of fundamental organic reaction mechanisms, especially of carbocation and carbene rearrangements. He is perhaps best known for his elucidation of homoenolization. In nearly 40 years at Johns Hopkins University, Alex was an exemplary educator and mentor, and he gave selflessly to the broader chemical community through service to the American Chemical Society in several capacities: as a senior editor of the Journal of Organic Chemistry and for nearly 20 years as the American executive editor of Tetrahedron. Both colleagues and former students agree that Alex was eternally positive and ever ready with measured, sage advice. In addition to these admirable professional and personal qualities, it is little known that Alex was also an accomplished magician.”—Craig Townsend, colleague

Most recent title: Professor Emeritus of chemistry, Johns Hopkins University

Education: BS, chemistry, University of Alberta, 1949; MA, organic chemistry, 1951, and PhD, organic chemistry, 1953, Harvard University

Survivors: Daughters, Dale Svatik, Linda Lindsay, and Leanne Nickon; two grandchildren

To recognize your late loved one or colleague, submit obituary information at


This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.