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Obituary: Leroy B. Townsend

by Alexandra A. Taylor
January 20, 2023 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 101, Issue 3


Leroy B. Townsend.
Credit: Courtesy of John Drach
Leroy B. Townsend

Leroy B. Townsend, 88, died Oct. 15, 2022, in Sedona, Arizona.

“A renaissance man who had a twinkle in his eye. A dedicated family man. Best known for chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and drug discovery; keenly interested in everything from sports to music. Between graduate degrees, a US Navy underwater explosive ordnance disposal and diving officer. Published nearly 600 papers, had numerous patents, plus book series. Held virtually every office in the Division of Medicinal Chemistry and the International Society of Heterocyclic Chemistry. Cofounded other scientific societies, received the ACS Smissman Bristol Myers Squibb Award and the Gertrude Elion Award from the International Society for Antiviral Research, and became a member of the ACS Hall of Fame.”—John C. Drach, friend, colleague, and collaborator

Most recent title: Professor emeritus, University of Michigan

Education: BS, chemistry and mathematics, New Mexico Highlands University, 1955; MS, chemistry, New Mexico Highlands University, 1957; PhD, chemistry, Arizona State University, 1965

Survivors: Wife, Sammy; daughter, Lisa Loree; son, Leroy Byron; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren

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