University Archives & Special Collections, A-8704. (Patrick Hayes)

Henry Taube

Henry Taube is the only University of Saskatchewan alumnus to win a Nobel Prize. His prize came in 1983 for his work on “the mechanisms of electron transfer reactions, especially in metal complexes.”

Born in Neudorf, Sask., in 1915, he earned a B.Sc. from the U of S in 1935 and a M.Sc. in 1937. He completed a PhD in 1940 at University of California Berkeley. Unable to obtain an academic position in Canada, he spent his entire professional career in the United States, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1942.

He joined faculties at Berkeley (1940-41), Cornell University (1941-46), and the University of Chicago (1946-1961), before moving to Stanford University in 1961. He retired in 1986.

In 1997, as part of the University of Saskatchewan’s 90th anniversary celebrations, a Nobel Plaza was constructed to honour Taube and Dr. Gerhard Herzberg, the two laureates connected to the U of S. Herzberg worked on campus for a decade and went on to receive numerous awards for his research, including the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1971.

Dr Taube died on Nov. 26, 2005, and is survived by his wife Mary Alice Taube (married 1952), and by his children Linda, Karl and Heinrich.

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