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George Andrew Olah

My father was a lawyer and to my best knowledge nobody in my family before had interest in science.

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My Cleveland years were both scientifically and personally most rewarding. My wife Judy was able to rejoin me in our research and my research group grew rapidly.

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Although reading the classics in Latin in school may be not as fulfilling as it would be at a more mature age, few scientists can afford the time for such diversion later in life.

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In the summer of 1965 I was invited to join Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and returned to academic life as professor with the added responsibility of becoming also Department Chairman.

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During our stay in London for the first time I was able to establish personal contact with some of the organic chemists, whose work I knew and admired from the literature. I found them most gracious and helpful.

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It was in 1969 that I was able to give up my administrative responsibility. As I worked hard my research never suffered during this period and as a matter of fact these were probably some of my most productive years.

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I grew up between the two world wars and received a rather solid general education, the kind middle class children enjoyed in a country whose educational system had its roots dating back to the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.

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I was invited to join the newly established Central Chemical Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1954 and was able to establish a small research group in organic chemistry, housed in temporary laboratories of an industrial research institute.

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