Donald J. Cram

About Donald J. Cram

Who is it?: Chemist
Birth Day: April 22, 1919
Birth Place: Chester, Vermont, United States
Alma mater: Rollins College University of Nebraska Harvard University
Known for: Cram's rule Host–guest chemistry phenonium ions paracyclophanes
Awards: Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1987) Glenn T. Seaborg Medal (1989) National Medal of Science (1993) Guggenheim fellowship (1955)
Fields: chemistry
Institutions: UCLA, Merck & Co, MIT
Doctoral advisor: Louis Fieser

Donald J. Cram

Donald J. Cram was born on April 22, 1919 in Chester, Vermont, United States, is Chemist. Donald James Cram was an eminent American chemist who, along with Charles J. Pedersen and Jean-Marie Lehn, won the prestigious Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1987 “for their development and use of molecules with structure-specific interactions of high selectivity”. The trio was the originator of the field of ‘host-guest chemistry’. Cram received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from the Rollins College in Florida followed by a M.S. degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of Nebraska. In 1947, he received his Ph.D degree from Harvard University and after spending three months as a postdoctoral scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he joined the faculty of the University of California at Los Angeles to become a full Professor by 1956. For over forty years, he taught more than 12,000 undergraduates, supervised nearly 120 doctoral and 100 postdoctoral students, and published more than 400 papers and eight books. Alongside his distinguished academic career, he remained committed to chemical research till the very end. He invented the ‘Cram's Rule’ which provided a methodology for calculating the result of nucleophilic attack of carbonyl compounds. He also expanded upon Pedersen’s innovative synthesis of ‘crown ethers’ and built a range of differently shaped molecules that could attach selective atoms to themselves owing to their corresponding three-dimensional structure.
Donald J. Cram is a member of Scientists

Does Donald J. Cram Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Donald J. Cram has been died on June 17, 2001 (aged 82)\nPalm Desert, California.

🎂 Donald J. Cram - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

When Donald J. Cram die, Donald J. Cram was 82 years old.

Popular As Donald J. Cram
Occupation Scientists
Age 82 years old
Zodiac Sign Taurus
Born April 22, 1919 (Chester, Vermont, United States)
Birthday April 22
Town/City Chester, Vermont, United States
Nationality United States

🌙 Zodiac

Donald J. Cram’s zodiac sign is Taurus. According to astrologers, Taurus is practical and well-grounded, the sign harvests the fruits of labor. They feel the need to always be surrounded by love and beauty, turned to the material world, hedonism, and physical pleasures. People born with their Sun in Taurus are sensual and tactile, considering touch and taste the most important of all senses. Stable and conservative, this is one of the most reliable signs of the zodiac, ready to endure and stick to their choices until they reach the point of personal satisfaction.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Donald J. Cram was born in the Year of the Goat. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Goat enjoy being alone in their thoughts. They’re creative, thinkers, wanderers, unorganized, high-strung and insecure, and can be anxiety-ridden. They need lots of love, support and reassurance. Appearance is important too. Compatible with Pig or Rabbit.

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Famous Quotes:

An investigator starts research in a new field with faith, a foggy idea, and a few wild experiments. Eventually the interplay of negative and positive results guides the work. By the time the research is completed, he or she knows how it should have been started and conducted. [1]



Cram attended the Winwood High School in Long Island, N.Y. From 1938 to 1941, he attended Rollins College, in Winter Park, Florida on a national honorary scholarship, where he worked as an assistant in the chemistry department, and was active in theater, chapel choir, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Society, and Zeta Alpha Epsilon. It was at Rollins that he became known for building his own chemistry equipment. In 1941, he graduated from Rollins College with a B.S. in Chemistry.


Cram once admitted that his career wasn't without sacrifice. His first wife was Rollins classmate, Jean Turner, who also graduated in 1941, and went on to receive a master's degree in social work from Columbia University. His second wife, Jane, is a former chemistry professor at Mt. Holyoke College. Cram chose not to have any children, "because I would either be a bad Father or a bad scientist."


From 1942-1945, Cram worked in chemical research at Merck & Co laboratories, doing penicillin research with mentor Max Tishler. Postdoctoral work was as an American Chemical Society postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with John D. Roberts. Cram was the originator of Cram's rule, which provides a model for predicting the outcome of nucleophilic attack of carbonyl compounds. He published over 350 research papers and eight books on organic chemistry, and taught graduate and post-doctoral students from 21 different countries.


Cram was named an assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1947, and a professor in 1955. He served there until his retirement in 1987. He was a popular Teacher, having instructed some 8,000 undergraduates in his career and guided the academic output of 200 graduate students. He entertained his classes by strumming his guitar and singing folk songs. He showed a self-deprecating style, saying at one time:

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