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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Richard Willstätter

13 August 1872, Karlsruhe – 4 August 1942, Locarno

Richard Willstätter had a storybook career as an organic chemist: he was awarded his doctorate in 1894, qualified as a professor in 1896, and became an associate professor in 1902 - all in Munich. He was appointed to the newly founded Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Chemistry in 1912 and taught simultaneously at Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität. In 1916 he returned to Munich, where he gave up his professorship in 1924 because of the rising anti-Semitism. He later emigrated to Switzerland.

Willstätter's research focused (among other things) on dye chemistry, photosynthesis and enzymes.

In 1915 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his studies of dyes in the plant kingdom, especially chlorophyll.