George A. Boswell,Jr.

1932 – 2015

George A. Boswell, Jr.

George was born on January 26, 1932 in Hayward, California. He grew up in near-by Castro Valley, graduated from Hayward High School, and then enrolled in the University of California, Berkeley, where he received both his undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry, the latter in 1959.

As an undergraduate he worked full time for Colgate Palmolive. His graduate work was done under the supervision of William G. Dauben, a future Editor-in-Chief of Organic Reactions, Inc. He then worked for Shell Development Company in Emeryville, California and in 1961 was hired by DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware to apply the fluorine chemistry developed at DuPont, to steroid applications which was the subject of his Ph.D. thesis. This led to a collaboration with Syntex, a California-based drug company, later taken over by Roche.

When DuPont entered the pharmaceutical business in 1970 with the purchase of Endo Laboratories of Long Island, New York, George was put in charge of the drug discovery group in the Central Research Department. This group later transferred to the Medical Products Department, and eventually to the DuPont-Merck Pharmaceutical Company, a newly formed joint venture with Merck in 1991.

George retired in 1993 and moved to the northern Sierra Mountains of California with his wife. There he enjoyed fishing and cross-country skiing. He also was an avid runner. They later moved to a retirement village in Reno, Nevada. George died on December 11, 2015 of brain cancer. He is survived by Syble, his wife of 63 years, four children, eight grand children, and one great-grand child.

George was an editor of Organic Reactions from 1974 to 1983 and was the lead author of the chapter on Fluorination with Sulfur Tetrafluoride, published in Volume 21 in 1974.