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Obituary: Lawrence F. Dahl

by Linda Wang
April 24, 2021 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 99, Issue 15


Photo of Lawrence F. Dahl.
Credit: University of Wisconsin–Madison
Lawrence F. Dahl

Lawrence F. Dahl, 91, died March 20 in Madison, Wisconsin.

“Professor Dahl’s research focused on inorganic chemistry, with an emphasis on the synthesis of well-defined transition-metal cluster compounds, analysis of metal-metal-bonded molecules, and the application of X-ray crystallography to characterization of these and related compounds. An archetypal academic scientist, Larry—as professor Dahl was known—has positively affected lives and influenced careers of an innumerable students and colleagues, offering support and words of encouragement in addition to scientific advice. He was always sincerely interested in people and was extremely generous with his time. An accomplished writer with a long list of scientific publications, Larry credited the Goddess Fortuna in one of his papers for good luck in chemical synthesis and crystallization that she brought his group over the years. Larry knew how to enjoy life, had an unfailingly positive attitude, and remained enthusiastic about science to the very end.”—Colleagues from the University of Wisconsin–Madison Chemistry Department and Bruker AXS

Most recent title: Professor emeritus of chemistry, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Education: BS, chemistry, 1951, University of Louisville; PhD, chemistry, Iowa State University, 1957

Survivors: Wife, June; sons Eric and Lawrence; one grandson. Predeceased by son Chris

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