S ir Geoffrey Wilkinson chatted with I-House alumni at the London reunion in September. From left: Wilkinson (IH 1946-'50), Gaby Cohen-Wolff (1947-'48 ), Sir Alfred Sloman (1946-1950 ), and Lady Marie Bergeron Sloman (1947-'48 ).

O ne of the chief influences in 20th Century chemistry, Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson, died on September 26, 1996, at the age of 75. Wilkinson, who lived in I-House from 1946-1950, received the 1973 Nobel Prize for his work on organo-metallic compounds.

I n 1946, Wilkinson came to live in I-House and joined Professor Glenn Seaborg's research group at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. He met his wife, Lise, at I- House. Fellow alumnus, Terje Jacobsen recalls Wilkinson.

H ow I wish I had been able to attend the International House Reunion in London in September which honored Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson. Geoffrey died only a few weeks later. I first met him 50 years ago at International House. What I recall from that first meeting was his smile, his twinkling eyes and great sense of humour. A wonderful friend, a warm human being. In later years, I had the pleasure of meeting him and his wife, Lise, in London for dinners in Chelsea and even at my home in Norway.

G eoffrey's distinguished career as a scientist that brought him the Nobel Prize in 1973 was another side to Geoffrey, in a domain where few could follow. But he was such a richly gifted person, so utterly unaffected, his interests so varied, that he made everybody feel at ease in his presence. Life has been greatly diminished by the loss of Geoffrey.

W ilkinson was knighted for his contributions to chemistry in 1976. His major chemical discoveries include firsts in sandwich compounds, thiocarbonyls, fluxional organometallics, and rhodium-based hydroformylation. His work in sandwich compounds had far-reaching effects, leading to the development of new catalysts used in the production of low-lead fuels.

W ilkinson is survived by his wife, Lise, and their two daughters.

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