Mario J. Molina

About Mario J. Molina

Who is it?: Chemist
Birth Day: March 19, 1943
Birth Place: Mexico City, Mexican
Alma mater: National Autonomous University of Mexico Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg University of California, Berkeley
Known for: Researched the threat of CFCs to the ozone layer in the stratosphere.
Awards: Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (1983) Newcomb Cleveland Prize (1987) NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal (1989), Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1995) UN Environment Programme Sasakawa Environment Prize (1999) The 9th Annual Heinz Award in the Environment (2003), The Volvo Environment Prize (2004). Presidential Medal of Freedom (2013)
Fields: Chemistry
Institutions: University of California, San Diego University of California, Irvine Jet Propulsion Laboratory Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Mario J. Molina

Mario J. Molina was born on March 19, 1943 in Mexico City, Mexican, is Chemist. Mario Molina is a renowned chemist who studied the effects of man-made compounds on the atmosphere and pioneered the theory of CFC and ozone depletion. Ever since his childhood, Molina was attracted towards science and his aunt Esther who was a chemist propelled his interest by helping him with his experiments, which he conducted in a make shift laboratory set up in a bathroom of their family house. Falling in line with family’s practice of studying abroad, Mario attended school in Switzerland. The young lad was eager to visit the continent which he viewed as an opportunity to interact with students who had an aptitude for the sciences; but however he was met with disappointment. He then pursued studies which catered to his goal of becoming a physical scientist. To succeed in his endeavour, he went to the United States and enrolled in University of California, which later became central to his research work. In association with F. Sherwood Rowland he studied the chemical reactivity of CFC in the atmosphere and came up with startling conclusions. His findings suggested that the CFC’s were responsible for the corrosion of ozone layer present in the stratosphere. He was even awarded a Nobel Prize for his work in the field of environmental chemistry. To know more about his life and works read on.
Mario J. Molina is a member of Scientists

Does Mario J. Molina Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Mario J. Molina is still alive (as per Wikipedia, Last update: May 10, 2020).

🎂 Mario J. Molina - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

Currently, Mario J. Molina is 81 years, 4 months and 5 days old. Mario J. Molina will celebrate 82rd birthday on a Wednesday 19th of March 2025. Below we countdown to Mario J. Molina upcoming birthday.

Popular As Mario J. Molina
Occupation Scientists
Age 81 years old
Zodiac Sign Aries
Born March 19, 1943 (Mexico City, Mexican)
Birthday March 19
Town/City Mexico City, Mexican
Nationality Mexican

🌙 Zodiac

Mario J. Molina’s zodiac sign is Aries. According to astrologers, the presence of Aries always marks the beginning of something energetic and turbulent. They are continuously looking for dynamic, speed and competition, always being the first in everything - from work to social gatherings. Thanks to its ruling planet Mars and the fact it belongs to the element of Fire (just like Leo and Sagittarius), Aries is one of the most active zodiac signs. It is in their nature to take action, sometimes before they think about it well.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Mario J. Molina 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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Molina is the son of Roberto Molina-Pasquel, a Lawyer and judge who went on to serve as chief Ambassador to Ethiopia, Australia and the Philippines in 1923, and Leonor Henríquez. As a child he converted a bathroom into his own little laboratory, using toy microscopes and chemistry sets. He also looked up to his aunt Esther Molina, who was a Chemist, and who helped him with his experiments.


After completing his basic studies in Mexico City and at the Institut auf dem Rosenberg in Switzerland he earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 1965. Two years later he earned his postgraduate degree at the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg, West Germany, and a Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley in 1972. Molina married Chemist Luisa Y. Tan in July 1973. They moved to Irvine, California that fall.


Mario Molina joined the lab of Professor F. Sherwood Rowland in 1973 as a postdoctoral fellow. Here, Molina continued Rowland's pioneering research into "hot atom" chemistry, which is the study of chemical properties of atoms with, and only with, excess translational Energy owing to radioactive processes. This study soon led to research into chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which had been accumulating in the atmosphere. Rowland and Molina had investigated other compounds similar to CFCs before, and together they developed the CFC ozone depletion theory. Molina tried to figure out how CFCs might be destroyed in the lower atmosphere, but nothing seemed to work. He and Rowland knew that if CFCs released into the atmosphere do not decay by other processes, they continually rise to higher altitudes until they are destroyed by solar radiation. They discovered that chlorine atoms, produced by the decomposition of CFCs, catalytically destroy ozone. Rowland and Molina published their findings in Nature on June 28, 1974, and also made an effort to announce their findings outside of the scientific community, informing policy makers and the news media of their work. Attesting to the continuing importance of their discovery, to this day there are still laws that protect the ozone layer by regulating the use of CFCs.


He also won the 1987 Esselen Award of the Northeast section of the American Chemical Society,


In 1988 he won the Newcomb-Cleveland from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


A few other awards he won were the 1989 NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Advancement and the 1989 United Nations Environmental Programme Global 500 Award.


In 1990, the Pew Charitable Trusts Scholars Program in Conservation and the Environment honored him as one of the ten environmental Scientists and awarded him a 150,000 dollar grant.


Mario Molina received several awards and honors, sharing the 1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry with Paul J. Crutzen and F. Sherwood Rowland for their discovery of the role of CFCs in ozone depletion.


He received the 1998 Willard Gibbs Award from the Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society and the 1998 American Chemical Society Prize for Creative Advances in Environment Technology and Science


Molina is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Science, the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and The National College of Mexico. He serves on the boards of several environmental organizations and also sits on a number of scientific committees including the U.S. President's Committee of Advisors in Science and Technology, the Institutional Policy Committee, the Committee on Global Security and Sustainability of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Mario Molina Center. He also served on the board of trustees for Science Service, now known as Society for Science & the Public, from 1999-2006. He has also received more than thirty honorary degrees and Asteroid 9680 Molina is named in his honor. In 2003 he was one of twenty-two Nobel Laureates who signed the Humanist Manifesto.


Between 1974 and 2004 he variously held research and teaching posts at University of California, Irvine, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he held a joint appointment in the Department of Earth Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences and the Department of Chemistry. On July 1, 2004 Molina joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at University of California, San Diego and the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.


Molina and his first wife, Luisa Tan Molina, divorced, and he married his second wife, Guadalupe Álvarez, in February 2006. His only son works as a physician in Boston. Molina was named by U.S. President Barack Obama to form a transition team on environmental issues.


On August 8, 2013, President Barack Obama announced Molina as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom citing in the press release:

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