Nobel laureate William Lipscomb dies at 91

A Harvard University professor who won the Nobel chemistry prize in 1976 for work on chemical bonding has died. William Nunn Lipscomb Jr. was 91.

His son, James Lipscomb, said Friday that Lipscomb died Thursday night at a Cambridge, Mass., hospital of and complications from a fall.

Several of his students also have won Nobels. Yale University professor Thomas Steitz, who shared the 2009 chemistry prize, says Lipscomb was an inspiring teacher who encouraged creative thinking.

The Ohio native grew up in Lexington, Ky., and students affectionately referred to him as "Colonel" in reference to his upbringing. He graduated from the University of Kentucky and got a doctorate at the California Institute of Technology under Nobel laureate Linus Pauling.

Lipscomb is survived by his wife and three children.


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