Fred Basolo

Fred Basolo (February 11, 1920 - February 27, 2007) was an American inorganic chemist. He received his PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1943 with John C. Bailar. Basolo spent his entire professional career at Northwestern University. He was a prolific contributor to the fields of coordination chemistry, organometallic, and bioinorganic chemistry, publishing over 400 papers. He supervised many PhD students. With his colleague Ralph Pearson, he coauthored the influential monograph "Mechanisms of Inorganic Reactions", which illuminated the importance of mechanisms involving coordination compounds. This work, which integrated concepts from ligand field theory and physical organic chemistry, signaled a shift from a highly descriptive nature of coordination chemistry to a more quantitative science.[1][2][3]

Among the many topics on which Basolo published were the indenyl effect, the reaction of coordinated ligands, and synthetic models for myoglobin.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he was awarded the Priestley Medal and the George Pimentel Award in Chemical Education. He was president of the American Chemical Society in 1983.[4]

His autobiography, From Coello to Inorganic Chemistry: A Lifetime of Reactions, was published in 2002.


1. ^ Basolo, F.; Pearson, R. G. "Mechanisms of Inorganic Reactions." John Wiley and Son: New York: 1967. ISBN 047105545X
2. ^ Harry Gray, John S. Magyar (2007). "Obituary Fred Basolo (1920-2007)". Angewandte Chemie International Edition 46 (16): 2746–2747. doi:10.1002/anie.200701155.
3. ^ George B. Kauffman, Laurie M. Kauffman and Harry B. Gray (2007). "Fred Basolo (1920–2007): A tribute from students, colleagues, and family". Polyhedron 26 (17): 4779–4785. doi:10.1016/j.poly.2007.07.046.
4. ^ R. Petkewich, "Fred Basolo Dies at 87", Chemical & Engineering News, 5 March 2007, page 13, published by American Chemical Society

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