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Digital Exhibits: There’s Something About Harry

There’s Something About Harry

Harry Burkus Gray

As Caltech prepares to celebrate Harry Burkus Gray's 80th birthday and the 25thth anniversary of the Beckman Institute, the Archives wishes to send our best to Dr. Gray. We would also like to briefly acquaint everyone with this unique and generous individual.

As a scientist, Dr. Gray has played an important role in the development of the school of inorganic chemistry and in linking that field to biochemistry. Among his many awards—too numerous to list here—is his receiving 1986 National Medal of Science in 1986 "for his pioneering research in bioinorganic chemistry and inorganic photochemistry." And Dr. Gray's seminal work on long-range electron transfer reactions in proteins has been a unifying theme for much of his and his group's research. In 1989, Dr. Gray was honored by becoming the first Director of the then newly established Beckman Institute at Caltech.

Though a well-respected scientist, Dr. Gray has always had a passion for teaching, mixing science with some creativity and a little fun—thereby becoming a beloved teacher in the truest sense of the word, and living by his motto, "You've got to keep people excited." [Dr. Gray's interview in the December 1991 issue of Caltech News, page 3]

And finally, as Founding Director of the Beckman Institute, where the Archives resides, over many years we have found Dr. Gray to have been a supportive “landlord”—respectful of, and interested in, our mission. Here then, is the Archives tribute to Dr. Gray, and the “Many Sides of Harry!” -LK

Visit the online exhibit. Posted 11-11-2015