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Harry B. Gray

Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry
Founding Director of the Beckman Institute
BILRC Principal Investigator


Harry Barkus Gray was born 14 November 1935 in Woodburn, Kentucky (B.S., Western Kentucky University, 1957). He did graduate work with Fred Basolo and R. G. Pearson at Northwestern University during 1957-60. After earning a Ph.D., he spent a year (1960-61) as an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow working with C. J. Ballhausen at the University of Copenhagen. He moved to New York in 1961 to take up an appointment as Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Columbia University (Associate Professor 1963-65; Professor, 1965-66). In 1966 he moved to the California Institute of Technology, where he is the Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry and Founding Director of the Beckman Institute.

Honors: Sloan Fellow (1962-64); E. C. Franklin Memorial Award (1967); ACS Award in Pure Chemistry (1970); Shoemaker Award (1970); PLU Fresenius Award (1970); Member, National Academy of Sciences (1971); Guggenheim Fellow (1972-73); MCA Award for Excellence in Chemistry Teaching (1972); Harrison Howe Award (1972); Phi Beta Kappa Scholar (1973-74); Foreign Member, Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters (1974); Kenan Professor, Caltech (1975); ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry (1978); Ira Remsen Award (1979); Richard Chace Tolman Medal (1979); Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1979); CCNY Scientific Achievement Award (1981); Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry (1981-); Distinguished Scientist Award, ACS Kalamazoo Section (1983); ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry (1984); Edgar Fahs Smith Award (1984); D.Sc. (hon.), Northwestern Univ (1984); Bailar Medal, Univ of Illinois (1984); Centenary Medal, Royal Society of Chemistry (1985); National Medal of Science (1986); Pauling Medal (1986); D.Sc. (hon.), Univ of Rochester (1987); D.Sc. (hon.) Univ of Chicago (1987); Honorary Member, Italian Chemical Society (1988); California Scientist of the Year (1988); Fellow of AAAS (1989); ACS Alfred Bader Award in Bioinorganic Chemistry (1990); ARCS Foundation Man of Science (1990); Gold Medal of the American Institute of Chemists (1990); D.h.c., Univ Paul Sabatier, Toulouse (1991); Priestley Medal of the American Chemical Society (1991); Fil.dr.h.c., Univ Göteborg (1991); Dickinson-Priestley Award (1991); Waterford Award, Scripps Research Institute (1991); Madison Marshall Award (1991); Gibbs Medal (1992); Linderstrøm-Lang Prize (1992); Laurea h.c., Univ Firenze (1993), D. Sc. (hon.), Bowling Green State Univ (1994); D. Sc. (hon.), Columbia Univ (1994); Basolo Medal, Northwestern Univ(1994); Foreign Member, Royal Academy (Göteborg) (1995); D.Sc. (hon.), Univ of Pennsylvania (1995); Sierra Nevada Distinguished Chemist Award (1995); D.Sc. (hon.), Oberlin College (1996); Foreign Member, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (1997); ICA Sigillum Magnum (1997); D.Sc. (hon.) Univ of Arizona (1997); Evans Award, Ohio State Univ (1997); Eastman Professor, Univ of Oxford (1997-98); C&EN 75 Award (1998); Chandler Medal, Columbia Univ (1999); Member, American Philosophical Society (2000); Foreign Member, Royal Society of Great Britain (2000); Harvey Prize, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (2000); ACS George C. Pimentel Award (2001); ACS Kosalopoff Award, Auburn Univ(2001); ACS Oesper Award, Univ of Cincinnati (2001); D.Sc (hon.), Carleton Univ, Ottawa (2001); Nichols Medal (2003); Wheland Award, Univ of Chicago (2003); NAS Award in Chemical Sciences (2003); D.Sc. (hon.), Univ of South Carolina (2003); Dwyer Medal, UNSW, Australia (2003); D.Sc. (hon.), Univ of Copenhagen (2003); Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry (2004); Wolf Prize for Chemistry (2004); Wilkinson Medal, Royal Society of Chemistry (2004); Honorary Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry (2005); Distinguished Visiting Professor, Univ of Hong Kong (2005); City of Florence Prize in Molecular Sciences (2006); D. Sc. (hon.), Univ of Edinburgh (2006); Antonini Award, SPP, Univ of Rome (2008); Pupin Medal, Columbia Univ (2008); Foreign Member, Academy Lincei (2008); Schulich Award, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (2008); ACS Fellow (2009); Welch Award in Chemistry (2009): Univ of Oregon Creativity Award (2010); International Award, Japan Society of Coordination Chemistry (2010).

Lectures: Gray has given over 100 named lectures; these include the Baker Lectures at Cornell, the Falk-Plaut Lectures at Columbia, the Chambers Distinguished Lectures and the Rothchild Lecture at Rochester, the Lee and Wherland Lectures at Chicago, the A. D. Little Lectures at MIT, the Gordon Distinguished Lectures at Toronto, the Lemieux Lectures at Ottawa, the Kolthoff Lectures at Minnesota, the Donald Distinguished Lectures at McGill, the First Muetterties and the 50th G. N. Lewis Lectures at UC Berkeley, the Baker Lecture at UC Santa Barbara, the Spicer Lecture at Georgia Tech, the Renaud Lectures at Michigan State, the Liversidge Lecture at Sydney, the Merck Lectures at Rutgers, the Bjerrum-Brønsted-Linderstrøm-Lang Lecture in Copenhagen, the Musher Lecture at the Hebrew University, the Priestley Lectures at Penn State, the Le Bel Seminars at Strasbourg, the Gunning Lectures at Alberta, the Pauling Lectures at Oregon State, the Gillespie Lectures in London, the Wyeth-Arest, DuPont-Marshall, and Hirschmann Lectures at Pennsylvania, the Basolo Lecture at Northwestern, the First and the 2008 Sacconi Memorial Lectures in Florence, the Rayson Huang Lectures in Hong Kong, the George Kistiakowsky Lecture at Harvard, the Stauffer Lecture at USC, the Grollman Lecture at Maryland, the Fritz London Lecture at Duke, the Stauffer Lectures at Stanford, the Robbins Lectures at Pomona, the Dakin Memorial Lecture at Adelphi, the Saugrain Lecture at Hunter, the Rothchild Lecture at Rochester, the Nakamoto Lecture at Marquette, the Lee Lecture at UC Irvine, the Chute Lectures at Dalhousie, the Lansdowne Lectures at Victoria, the Kukin Lecture at Yeshiva, the Eraldo Antonini Memorial Lecture in Rome, the Professor Chau Wai Yin Memorial Lecture at Hong Kong Polytechnic, the Schulich Lecture at the Technion, the Lars Ernster Lecture in Stockholm, the Weizmann Memorial Lectures in Rehovot, the Sheldon Shore Lecture at Ohio State, the Edward Teller Lecture at UC Davis, the Helen Free Lectures at the College of Wooster, the Kennedy Lecture at Washington Univ St Louis, and the Mahoney Lecture in Amherst.

Service (1980-2007): Member, Science Policy Committee, SLAC (2008-2013); Member, Editorial Board, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2005-); President, Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (2002-2004); Member of the Board of Trustees (1995-2001, Chairman, 2000), Gordon Research Conferences; Member of the Council, National Academy of Sciences (1986-1989); Member of the Governing Board, National Research Council (1986-1989); Member of the Board of Directors, Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation (1994-); Chairman, Beckman Foundation Grants Advisory Council (1990-1993); Member, Sloan Foundation Chemistry Advisory Committee (1987-1992); Chairman, NSF Advisory Committee for Chemistry (1982-1983); Chairman, NAS Section of Chemistry (1982-1985); Chairman, Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Caltech (1978-1984); Chairman, Bioinorganic Subdivision of the ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry (1985); Member, NAS-NRC Committee to Survey Opportunities in the Chemical Sciences (1983-1986); Member, NAS/NAE/IOM Federal Budget Priorities Committee (1988); Member, NAS/NAE/IOM COSEPUP (1989-1992); Member, NAS Film Committee (1986-1992); Member, ACS Committee on Professional Training (1976-1984); Chairman, NSF Workshop on Undergraduate Education in Chemistry (1988); Member, ACS Committee on Science (1985-1990); Chairman, Advisory Board for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1987-1989); Chairman, Advisory Committee for the INC Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory (1985-1990); Chairman, Visiting Committee for the Chemistry Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory (1980); Chairman, Visiting Committee for the Photoconversion Branch, Solar Energy Research Institute (1982-1983); Chairman, Gordon Conference on Metals in Biology (1982).

Publications: Over 730 research papers and 17 books

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