The chemistry community said goodbye to one of its leading lights this week, as George A. Olah died at the age of 89. Throughout his long career he earned many of chemistry’s highest honors, including the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1994 for his work on preparing long-lived carbocations using superacids. In 2005, he was awarded the Priestley Medal, the highest honor the ACS can bestow. He was also the 1963 recipient of the ACS Award in Petroleum Chemistry, an award now known as the George A. Olah Award in Hydrocarbon or Petroleum Chemistry.
Olah was the Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Distinguished Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Southern California and remained an active researcher throughout his later years. Olah is listed as an author on more than 700 research articles in ACS Publications journals, including more than 400 articles in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), the most recent of which was published just last month.