Sir Derek Barton, who was distinguished professor of chemistry at Texas A&M University and holder of the Dow Chair of Chemical Invention, died on March 16 in College Station, Texas, of heart failure. He was 79 years old and had been chairman of the Executive Board of Editors for Tetrahedron Publications since 1979. Barton was considered to be one of the greatest organic chemists of the twentieth century. His work continues to have a major influence on contemporary science and will continue to do so for future generations of chemists.
Derek Harold Richard Barton was born on September 8, 1918, in Gravesend, Kent, U.K., and graduated from Imperial College, London, with the degrees of B.Sc. (1940) and Ph.D. (1942). He carried out work on military intelligence during World War II, and after a brief period in industry, joined the faculty at Imperial College. It was an early indication of the breadth and depth of his chemical knowledge that his lectureship was in physical chemistry. This research led him into the mechanism of elimination reactions and to the concept of molecular rotation difference to correlate the configurations of steroid isomers. During a sabbatical leave at Harvard in 1949-50 he published a paper on the "Conformation of the Steroid Nucleus" (Experientia 1950, 6, 316) which was to bring him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1969, shared with the Norwegian chemist Odd Hassel. This key paper (only four pages long) altered the way in which chemists thought about the shape and reactivity of molecules, since it showed how the reactivity of functional groups in steroids depends on their axial or equatorial positions in a given conformation. After returning to the U.K. he held chairs of chemistry at Birkbeck College and Glasgow University before returning in 1957 to Imperial College, where he developed a remarkable synthesis of the steroid hormone aldosterone by a photochemical reaction known as the Barton Reaction (nitrite photolysis). In 1978 he retired from Imperial College and became director of the Natural Products Institute at Gifsur-Yvette in France, where he studied new chemical reactions, especially the chemistry of radicals, which opened up a whole new area of organic synthesis involving Gif chemistry. In 1986 he moved to a third career at Texas A&M University as distinguished professor of chemistry and continued to work on novel reactions involving radical chemistry and the oxidation of hydrocarbons. His discoveries become of great industrial importance. In a research career spanning more than five decades, Barton's contributions to organic chemistry included major discoveries that have profoundly altered our way of thinking about chemical structure and reactivity. His chemistry has provided models for the biochemical synthesis of natural products, including alkaloids, antibiotics, carbohydrates, and DNA. Most recently his discoveries led to models for enzymes that oxidize hydrocarbons, including methane monooxygenase.
The following are selected highlights from his published work:
The 1950 paper that launched Conformational Analysis was recognized by the Nobel Prize Committee as the key contribution whereby the third dimension was added to chemistry. This work alone transformed our thinking about the connection between stercochemistry and reactivity, and was later adapted from small molecules to macromolecules, e.g. DNA, and to inorganic complexes.
Barton's breadth and influence is illustrated in "Biogenetic Aspects of Phenol Oxidation" (Festschrift Arthur Stoll, 1957, 117). This theoretical work led to many later experiments on alkaloid biosynthesis and to a set of rules for ortho-para-phenolic oxidative coupling that allowed the prediction of new natural product systems before they were actually discovered and to the correction of several erroneous structures.
In 1960 his paper on the remarkably short synthesis of the steroid hormone aldosterone (J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1960, 82, 2641) disclosed the first of many inventions of new reactions-in this case nitrite photolysis-to achieve short, high-yielding processes, many of which have been patented and are used worldwide in the pharmaceutical industry.
Moving to 1975, by which time some 500 papers had been published, yet another "Barton reaction" was born-"The Deoxygenation of Secondary Alcohols" (J. Chem. Soc. Perkin 1, 1975, 1574), which has been very widely applied due to its tolerance of quite hostile and complex local environments in carbohydrate and nucleoside chemistry. This reaction is the chemical counterpart to ribonucleotide?4 deoxyribonucleotide reductase in biochemistry and, until the arrival of the Barton reaction, was virtually impossible to achieve.
"Invention of a new Radical Chain Reaction" (1985) involved the generation of carbon radicals from carboxylic acids (Tetrahedron, 1985, 41, 3901). The method is of great synthetic utility and has been used many times by others in the burgeoning area of radicals in organic synthesis.
These recent advances in synthetic methodology were remarkable since Barton's chemistry had virtually no precedent in the work of others. The radical methodology was especially timely in light of the significant recent increase in applications for fine chemical syntheses, and Barton gave the organic community an entrance into what will prove to be one of the most important methods of the next century. He often said how proud he was, at age seventy-one, to receive the ACS Award for Creativity in Organic Synthesis for work published in the preceding five years.
Much of Barton's more recent work is summarized in the articles "The Invention of Chemical Reactions-the Last 5 Years" (Tetrahedron, 1992, 48, 2529) and "Recent Developments in Gif Chemistry" (Pure. & Appl. Chem., 1997, 69, 1941).
Working 12 hours a day, Barton remained energetic and creative to the day of his death. The author of more than 1000 papers in chemical journals, he also held many successful patents. In addition to the Nobel Prize, he received many honors and awards, including the Davy, Copley, and Royal medals of the Royal Society of London and the Roger Adams and Priestley medals of the American Chemical Society. He held honorary degrees from thirty-four universities. He was a Fellow of the Royal Societies of London and Edinburgh, Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), and Foreign Member of the Russian and Chinese Academies of Sciences. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1972, received the Légion d' Honneur (Chevalier 1972; Officier 1985) from France, and the Order of the Rising Sun from the emperor of Japan. In his long career, Sir Derek trained over 300 students and postdoctoral fellows, whoinclude some of today's most distinguished organic chemists.
For those of us who were fortunate to know Sir Derek personally there is no doubt that his genius and work ethic were unique. He gave generously of his time to students and colleagues wherever he traveled and engendered such great respect and loyalty in his students and coworkers that major symposia accompanied his birthdays every five years, beginning with the sixtieth and ending this year with two celebrations just before his eightieth birthday. With the death of Sir Derek Barton, the world of science has lost a major figure, who, together with Sir Robert Robinson and Robert B. Woodward, the cofounders of Tetrahedron, changed the face of organic chemistry in this century.
Professor Barton is survived by his wife, Judy, by a son, William, from his first marriage, and by three grandchildren.
A. I. Scott, Texas A&M University, Department of Chemistry, College Station
Darden served as a lieutenant commander in the Navy during World War II. He was active in business in Waco throughout his life. His father had been in the lumber business, and he continued in the building materials industry. He was married to Jean Hendrick Darden. They had six children and four grandchildren.
Throughout his life he was closely involved with nearly every aspect of civic life in Waco. He was president of the Waco Independent School District Board, he was chairman of the Ridgewood Country Club, he was active with the Waco Chamber of Commerce and on the Advisory Board of Providence Hospital. In addition to his civic activities he was a former director of Petroleum Life Insurance in Midland, Lumberman's Underwriters Insurance in Austin, Pioneer Savings Association in Waco, and Community Bank and Trust in Waco.
Bill loved to hunt, to be around the fire on a hunt, and to tell a good story. He also listened with enthusiasm. Food was his avocation. As his wife so aptly said, "He liked food whether it was good or bad." People flocked to him for advice. He was a very fair person and would always consider all sides of a question before making a judgment. His friends were absolutely devoted to him and he to them.
Llerena Friend, noted Texas historian and bibliographer, was born on October 19, 1903, in Dublin, Texas, the daughter of Everest M. and Llerena Collinsworth Perry Friend. After attending public schools in Wichita Falls, she attended the University of Texas, where she received the B.A. degree in 1924, the M.A. in 1928, and the Ph.D. in 1951.
From 1924 to 1926 she taught at the high school in Vernon, and from 1926 to 1944 she taught at Wichita Falls High School. In 1945 she returned to the University of Texas, where she became a research associate at the Texas State Historical Association. She worked for Walter Prescott Webb as an editorial assistant on the Handbook of Texas (volumes I and II). In 1950 she became librarian of the Texas Collection, Barker Texas History Center, where she served until 1969. She also served as lecturer in the Department of History from 1964 until 1971, when she retired from the university as professor emeritus.
Her Ph.D. dissertation, written under the supervision of Eugene C. Barker, was published in 1954 under the title Sam Houston, the Great Designer. She edited M. K. Kellogg's Texas Journal, 1872 (1967) and, with Ernest W. Winkler, Check List of Texas Imprints, 1861-1876 (1963). In 1970 she published Talks on Texas Books by Walter Prescott Webb.
During her professional career she received numerous awards and commendations, and was active in the Texas State Historical Association, the Western History Association, Alpha Chi Omega, and the Texas Institute of Letters. After retirement, she returned to Wichita Falls, where she was active in cultural and educational affairs.
Miss Friend was greatly respected as one of the leading experts in Texas bibliography and liberally shared her knowledge with her students and colleagues. University chancellor Harry Ransom thought of her as "a sage and gentle Texan, as generous as she is wise. Her own making of accurate and highly readable accounts of Texas history follows a dual tradition sprung from Barker and Webb. She has fulfilled the motto of one of her predecessors, Swante Palm: 'Get knowledge and share it.'"
She died in Wichita Falls on September 8, 1995.
Franklin Harbach was born in Bernville, Pennsylvania, in 1903. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, he went to New York, where he worked at Henry Street Settlement House while studying law. This experience led him to choose a career in social work, and he came to Houston as Director of Houston Settlement Association in 1943.
Houston Settlement Association, now known as Neighborhood Centers Inc., was founded in 1907. NCI launched such programs as preschools and a visiting-nurse program, which were later taken over by the Houston Independent School District and the Visiting Nurses Association respectively. Harbach continued to explore ways of expanding this "settlement" tradition. "Settlers" within a community would keep in close contact with their neighbors, define community needs, and develop pilot programs to meet those needs. Today this methodology is known as "community-based initiative." Programs that grew out of this sort of initiative included early childhood education (a model for Headstart), recreation, social and nutrition services for the aged, after-school day care, and comprehensive services. Under Harbach's leadership, NCI expanded its services geographically, establishing centers and programs in other communities in Houston as well as in La Porte, Pasadena, and South Houston.
Mr. Harbach was a man of international influence. As president of the National Federation of Settlements during the 1950s, he served as a consultant to the U.S. government and traveled on several occasions to Germany, where he assisted in reestablishing social service programs following World War II.
NCI also served as a field-placement site for Master of Social Work candidates. This provided work-training experience for social workers from the local community and many international students from Central and South America who were sponsored by the U.S. State Department. Harbach was among those instrumental in establishing the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Houston. After retiring, he maintained a lifelong interest in NCI while serving as a consultant to the Ripley Foundation.
Franklin Harbach was a man of vision, and at the same time, eminently practical. His contribution to the development and the delivery of social services in Houston, as well as his influence on the thinking of professionals who worked with him and the people whose lives he touched, is immeasurable.
The Right Reverend John Elbridge Hines, who was elected to this society in 1961, was a person of giant stature and one of the truly great bishops of the Episcopal Church. He was, however, about fifty years ahead of the thinking and concepts of some of the laity, and for that reason, he was not popular with a substantial segment. Nevertheless, history will, I think, regard him as truly great. He rose to be the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church from 1965 to 1974.
John Hines was born in Seneca, South Carolina, on October 3, 1910. He was married to Helen Orwig of St. Louis, Missouri. They had five children, including the Rev. Chrys Hines, who served at All Saints, Austin. He died in Austin on July 19, 1997. He was eighty-seven. He received a B. A. degree from the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received B.D. and D.D. degrees from the Virginia Theological Seminary, and a D.D. from the University of the South, Sewanee, in 1946. He was ordained deacon in 1933 and priest in 1934. He served in churches in St. Louis and Hannibal, Missouri; in Augusta, Georgia; and at Christ Church, Houston. When he was thirty-four, he was elected bishop-coadjutor of the Diocese of Texas, to serve with Bishop Clinton S. Quin, another great bishop of Texas. In 1956, he was made bishop of the Diocese of Texas. He served until 1964, when he became presiding bishop of the National Episcopal Church.
The seat of the Bishop was at Christ Church Cathedral in Houston. But as coadjutor, Hines spent much time in Austin. Among other things, he was responsible for the establishment of the Seminary of the Southwest. The chancellor (lawyer) for the diocese was in Houston, but in the Austin area, Tom Gee and I were able to be legal assistance in seminary matters and the establishment of St. Andrews School. A neighbor to the Seminary property brought a lawsuit to enjoin the erection of the Charles Black Library Building at the Seminary on the grounds that the seminary and the library were, or would be, a noisy public nuisance. I represented the Seminary, and Gee and I were successful in defending the seminary in the Supreme Court of Texas. He also had a large hand in the establishment of St. Stephen's School in Austin.
As a bishop, and as presiding bishop, he presided over the Episcopal Church during the social and cultural turmoil of the 1960s. He led the diocese through the process of racial integration. He urged Episcopalians to become advocates in the struggle for civil rights. He supported participation in the interfaith movement, the ordination of women as priests, and the inclusion of minority groups in church counsels.
When I was first assistant attorney general of Texas, it became my duty to represent the university in Sweatt v. Painter, i.e., to represent Dr. Painter and the Board of Regents who excluded the black man from the law school. I argued the case against Thurgood Marshall in the U.S. Supreme Court. Though the churches, church schools, and other facilities of the Episcopal Church were segregated, Bishop Hines urged the filing of an amicus brief against the university's position. One was filed in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Federal Council of Churches, with the Episcopal Church listed as a participant. I talked with the Bishop about that. Both of us took professional positions: I was not a person championing my own views. I was a lawyer for a client. The Bishop was following his Christian duty as he saw it. We respected each other's views. Some members of the Episcopal Church were not so charitable toward Bishop Hines. His views led to dissension and caused some local congregations to withhold financial contributions from the church's national budget, but he was right.
Bishop Hines was conscious of the dissent. It must have caused him pain. Around 1981, I proposed William C. (Bill) Harvin for membership in this society, and I wrote to Bishop Hines for his help in getting Bill elected to it. The Bishop wrote back that he'd be for him and would support his election "if it did not hurt him." The Bishop's support did not hurt Bill, and he was elected to the society. As b
ishop of the Diocese of Texas, Hines greatly expanded the property ownership of the diocese. He saw a need for new parishes and missions in this growing area of Texas. All real property of the diocese is held in the name of the bishop. I was privileged to serve on the Diocesan Board (Houston) when a lot of the property was bought. In addition to his advanced social views, some thought that he was fiscally irresponsible. He was not. There was a need for a new location of Camp Allen, a place mainly for a summer camp for retreats. The bishop selected acreage on the shores of Clear Lake nearest to the Galveston-Houston highway. It seemed fine to me, but "older and wiser heads" were against it. It was too expensive. It is now occupied by the Manned Space Center. The bishop knew good real estate better than the Diocesan Board did.
Bishop Hines had a brilliant mind. His wisdom greatly exceeded his popularity. His sermons were addressed to the future and his convictions of Christian responsibility. Christian Century magazine said of the bishop that he "remained astride the bucking bronco of a polarized church during one of the most controversial decades in American History." In the long and broader view, it will be said of him, "well done." As a person, he was modest almost to a fault, cheerful, and great to be around. It was a pleasure to be associated with him and to have him as a friend.
Dorothy Wardell Knepper, daughter of Harold Forest and Hattie (Stockley) Wardell, was born on July 22, 1908, in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was graduated from the University of Texas summa cum laude in 1943, majoring in history, political science, and Spanish, and was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Delta Pi (Spanish honorary) and Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science).
After completing course work for a master's degree, on the recommendation of professors Eugene C. Barker and Charles W. Hackett, she was named acting director (later director) of the San Jacinto Museum of History Association, the private, nonprofit educational organization chartered in 1938 to provide a historical museum in the base of the San Jacinto Monument. Earlier professional leaders in the museum had been Ike Moore, Andrew Forest Muir, Joe B. Frantz, and Malcolm McLean. In 1958, Mrs. Knepper was elected to membership in the Philosophical Society of Texas. She was active in several professional organizations, including the Texas State Historical Association and the Texas Association of Museums.
At her retirement as director of the museum in 1979, Mrs. Knepper had supervised the cataloging of some 100,000 objects, 20,000 books, 10,000 items of visual art, and some 250,000 documents and manuscripts. According to Paul Gervais Bell, long time president of the San Jacinto Museum of History Association, "Dorothy Knepper made numerous landmark contributions to the Museum during her thirty years as director. Her meticulous care for the collections, from their original cataloging through the countless exhibits she prepared at the Museum, ensured their availability for future generations of Texans. A careful scholar of the early periods of our State's history, she was well known as a Texan of impeccable integrity and honor."
She was married to David W. Knepper, long-time professor at the University of Houston. She died on August 7, 1998.
Mrs. H. B. Zachry was born Sarah Pauline Butte in Austin, Texas, the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. George C. F. Butte. As a child she lived in Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., and the Philippine Islands, but returned to the United States to attend Vassar College. She was married to Charles Rapier Dawson in 1940 and moved to San Antonio, where she spent the rest of her life.
She was very active in the community and served on the boards of United Way, the Battle of Flowers Association, the San Antonio Conservation Society, the Junior League, the Mind Science Foundation, the Cancer Therapy and Research Center, St. Luke's Baptist Hospital Foundation, the National Planned Parenthood Association, and the National Association of College Admission Counselors. For many years she was a teacher and administrator at St. Mary's Hall in San Antonio. There she taught Latin, was director of admissions for eight years and assistant headmistress for five years.
In 1980 she married Henry Bartell Zachry Sr., who preceded her in death. She had three children, eight grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. She was a remarkable woman in so many ways. She was the first woman elected to the City Council of Alamo Heights and served there for nine consecutive terms. She was very active as a member of the First Presbyterian Church, where she was always willing to take responsibility. Polly was known for her wisdom, wit, and ability to keep up with what was going on in her community. She is greatly missed by all of us who knew her well.