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Willard Frank Libby

educator , chemist.

Willard Frank Libby, American educator, chemist.


Libby, Willard Frank was born on December 17, 1908 in Grand Valley, Colorado, United States. Son of Ora Edward and Eva May (Rivers) Libby.


Bachelor of Science, University of California, 1931, Doctor of Philosophy., 1933. Doctor of Science, Wesleyan University, 1955, Syracuse University, 1957, Trinity College, U. Dublin, 1957, Carnegie Institute Technology, 1959, Georgetown University, 1962, Manhattan College, 1963, U. Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (England), 1965, Gustavus Adolphus College, 1970, U. South Florida, 1975, U. Colorado, 1977.


; children—Janet Eva, Susan Charlotte. Married second, Leona Woods Marshall, 1966. Instructor chemistry University of California, 1933, assistant professor, 1938, associate professor, 1945.

Chemist Columbia War Research Division (S.A.M. laboratories), 1941-1945. Professor of chemistry Institute Nuclear Studies and department chemistry University of Chicago, 1945-1959. Professor of chemistry University of California at Los Angeles, 1959-1980, director Institute Geophysics and Planetary Physics, 1962-1980.

Research associate Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution Washington, 1954-1959. Special visiting professor of chemistry, physics, astrophysics and aero-engineering U. Colorado, 1967-1970. Special visiting professor of chemistry U. South Florida, Tampa, 1972.

Director Science Research Instrument Corporation, Hedge Fund American, Summit Capital Fund. Inc., Nuclear Systems, Inc., Research Cottrell, Inc., W.F. Libby laboratories, Douglas Aircraft Company, Data Design laboratories. Member academic advisory board Research and Development Corporation, 1968-1977.


  • Author: Radiocarbon Dating, 1955. Editorial board Science, 1962-1970, Space Life Sciences, 1970-1980, Science of Total Environment, 1973-1980, Environmental Geology, 1973-1980. Editorial advisory board Industrial Research, 1967-1973.

    Contributor articles to chemical journals.


Member of committee senior responsible reviewers Atomic Energy Commission, 1945-1952. Member California Air Resources Board, 1967-1972. Member committee selection Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 1959-1977.

Member President’s Task Force Air Pollution, 1969-1970, United States/Japan Committee Science Cooperation, 1970-1973. Member visiting committee Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1968-1972. Member California Government's Earthquake Council, 1972-1980.

Board of directors, president Isotope Foundation. Fellow American Nuclear Society, American Institute Chemists, British Academy (correspondent). Member American Philosophical Society, American Academy Arts and Sciences, National Academy Sciences, Heidelberg Academy Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Physical Society, American Institute Chemical Engineers, American Chemical Society, American Geophysical Union, American Institute Aeronautics an Astronautics, Bolivian Society Anthropology, Berkeley.

Clubs: Explorers.


Married Leonor Hickey, August 9, 1940 (divorced 1966).; married second, Leona Woods Marshall, 1966. Children: Janet Eva, Susan Charlotte.

Ora Edward Libby

Eva May (Rivers) Libby

Leonor Hickey

Leona Woods Marshall

Janet Eva Libby

Susan Charlotte Libby