Melvin Calvin

About Melvin Calvin

Who is it?: Biochemist
Birth Day: April 08, 1911
Birth Place: St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, United States
Alma mater: Michigan College of Mining and Technology University of Minnesota
Known for: Calvin cycle
Spouse(s): Genevieve Elle Jemtegaard (m. 1942; 3 children) (d.1987)
Awards: Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1961) Davy Medal (1964) Priestley Medal (1978) AIC Gold Medal (1979) National Medal of Science (1989)
Fields: Chemistry · Biology
Institutions: University of Manchester University of California, Berkeley Berkeley Radiation Laboratory Science Advisory Committee
Academic advisors: Michael Polanyi
Doctoral students: Cyril Ponnamperuma

Melvin Calvin

Melvin Calvin was born on April 08, 1911 in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, United States, is Biochemist. Melvin Ellis Calvin was a Jewish-American biochemist who was awarded the ‘Nobel Prize’ in Chemistry in 1961 for his renowned discovery of the ‘Calvin cycle’ that encompass three phases of light-independent reactions of photosynthesis - carbon fixation, reduction reactions, and ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) regeneration. This discovery was made by Calvin along with American biologist Andrew Benson and American scientist James Bassham. In his career span of around five decades, most of which was spent at the ‘University of California’, Berkeley, he made several studies that yielded significant discoveries covering a broad area of biological and physical chemistry. The series of investigations made by Calvin included work on hydrogen activation; radiation chemistry; electronic structure of organic molecules; artificial photosynthesis; photoelectronic, electronic and photochemical behaviour of porphyrins; and chemical evolution of life among others. He worked on isolating and purifying plutonium from other irradiated nuclear fission products of uranium by applying chelation and solvent extraction while working in the ‘Manhattan Project’. He and his wife Genevieve Jemtegaard collaborated to study chemical factors present in Rh blood group system and helped to ascertain structure of one of the Rh antigens that they named ‘elinin’. He received several awards and recognition including ‘Davy Medal’ from the ‘Royal Society of London’ (1964), ‘Priestley Medal’ (1978) and the U.S. ‘National Medal of Science’ (1989).
Melvin Calvin is a member of Scientists

Does Melvin Calvin Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Melvin Calvin has been died on January 8, 1997(1997-01-08) (aged 85)\nBerkeley, California, U.S..

🎂 Melvin Calvin - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

When Melvin Calvin die, Melvin Calvin was 85 years old.

Popular As Melvin Calvin
Occupation Scientists
Age 85 years old
Zodiac Sign Taurus
Born April 08, 1911 (St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, United States)
Birthday April 08
Town/City St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, United States
Nationality United States

🌙 Zodiac

Melvin Calvin’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

Melvin Calvin was born in the Year of the Pig. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Pig are extremely nice, good-mannered and tasteful. They’re perfectionists who enjoy finer things but are not perceived as snobs. They enjoy helping others and are good companions until someone close crosses them, then look out! They’re intelligent, always seeking more knowledge, and exclusive. Compatible with Rabbit or Goat.

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As a small child Calvin's family moved to Detroit; he graduated from Central High School in 1928. Melvin Calvin earned his Bachelor of Science from the Michigan College of Mining and Technology (now known as Michigan Technological University) in 1931 and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Minnesota in 1935. He then spent the next four years doing postdoctoral work at the University of Manchester. He married Marie Genevieve Jemtegaard in 1942, and they had three children, two daughters and a son.


Calvin joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1937 and was promoted to Professor of Chemistry in 1947. Using the carbon-14 isotope as a tracer, Calvin, Andrew Benson and James Bassham mapped the complete route that carbon travels through a plant during photosynthesis, starting from its absorption as atmospheric carbon dioxide to its conversion into carbohydrates and other organic compounds. In doing so, Calvin, Benson and Bassham showed that sunlight acts on the chlorophyll in a plant to fuel the Manufacturing of organic compounds, rather than on carbon dioxide as was previously believed. Calvin was the sole recipient of the 1961 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for what is sometimes known as the Calvin–Benson–Bassham Cycle. Calvin wrote an autobiography three decades later titled Following the Trail of Light: A Scientific Odyssey. During the 1950s he was among the first members of the Society for General Systems Research. In 1963 he was given the additional title of Professor of Molecular Biology. He was founder and Director of the Laboratory of Chemical Biodynamics and simultaneously Associate Director of Berkeley Radiation Laboratory, where he conducted much of his research until his retirement in 1980. In his final years of active research, he studied the use of oil-producing plants as renewable sources of Energy. He also spent many years testing the chemical evolution of life and wrote a book on the subject that was published in 1969.


Calvin was elected a foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1958. In 1959 he was elected a Member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.


Calvin was featured on the 2011 volume of the American Scientists collection of US postage stamps, along with Asa Gray, Maria Goeppert-Mayer, and Severo Ochoa. This was the third volume in the series, the first two having been released in 2005 and 2008.

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