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Arthur C. Cope

Arthur Clay Cope
BornJune 27, 1909
Dunreith, Indiana
DiedJune 4, 1966
Nationality American
FieldOrganic chemistry
InstitutionsMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Known forNumerous contributions to the science of synthetic organic chemistry
Notable prizesMember of the National Academy of Sciences

Arthur C. Cope (1909-1966) was a highly successful and influential organic chemist and member of the National Academy of Sciences. He is credited with the development of several important chemical reactions which bear his name including the Cope elimination and the Cope rearrangement.

Cope was born on June 27, 1909 in Dunreith, Indiana. He received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Butler University in Indianapolis in 1929 and a PhD in 1932 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research continued at Harvard University in 1933 as a National Research Council Fellow. In 1934, he joined the faculty of Bryn Mawr College. There his research included the first syntheses of a number of barbiturates including delvinyl sodium. At Bryn Mawr, Cope also developed a reaction involving the thermal rearrangement of an allyl group which eventually became known as the Cope rearrangement.

In 1941, Cope moved to Columbia University where he worked on projects associated with the war effect including chemical warfare agents, antimalarial drugs, and treatments for mustard gas poisoning. In 1945, he moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to become the head of the Department of Chemistry. In 1947, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Today, the Arthur C. Cope Award, in honor of his memory, is given out annually by the American Chemical Society to the most outstanding organic chemist.


  • John D. Roberts and John C. Sheehan (1991). "Arthur Clay Cope". Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences 60: 17-27.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Arthur_C._Cope". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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