September 11, 1894-January 4, 1988
BY NELSON J. LEONARD
CARL S. MARVEL had a spectacular career of seventy-two years in organic chemistry. It was during the same period that the chemical industry in the United States experienced its greatest growth. The two careers were synergistic. From 1920 to 1961, Dr. Marvel was on the staff of the University of Illinois in Urbana, and from the date of his first retirement through 1987 he was a faculty member at the University of Arizona. He consulted for nearly sixty years for the DuPont Experimental Station. He was a dominant figure in American organic chemistry and has been recognized as the "father" of synthetic polymer chemistry. The impact of his teaching, research, and consultation was matched by his important contributions to government, foundations, and the professional community. It was at the personal level, however, that his influence was most pervasive, reaching beyond the 176 Ph.D. students and 150 postdoctoral students whom he trained to thousands of chemists, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances with whom he shared common interests or goals. His personality was so memorable that his influence will continue to affect and guide the lives of all those with whom he came in contact.
Carl Marvel was born on a farm three miles south of Waynesville, Illinois, during the forenoon of September 11,