Carl Djerassi

Carl Djerassi

Carl Djerassi

Among other works our library posseses Carl Djerassi's book 'This Man Pill - Sex, Art and Immortality' (2001).

Carl Djerassi, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University


Born 1923 in Vienna, studied at Kenyon College (A.B. summa cum laude, 1942) and at the University of Wisconsin where he graduated in 1945. After four years as research chemist with CIBA Pharmaceutical Co. in Summit, New Jersey, Djerassi joined Syntex, S.A., in Mexico City as Associate Director of Chemical Research in 1949. In 1952 he received a professorship of Chemistry at Wayne State University and as of 1959, was a professor at Stanford University. He retired in 2002. Carl Djerassi died on January 30, 2015 at the age of 91, in San Francisco.


Parallel to his academic functions, Djerassi held important positions at Syntex between the years of 1957 and 1972, including that of President of Syntex Research from 1968 to 1972.


At the beginning of 1950, he succeeded together with Luis E. Miramontes in synthezising the sexual hormone Norethisteron, a gestagen. He was awarded the National Medal of Science for his achievement. Together with Gregory Pincus and John Rock, the four men went on to develop the first 'anti-baby pill' in 1951.


Djerassi authored around 1,200 papers. He was honored with numerous awards in the field of science and awarded 20 honorary degrees.


Djerassi concerned himself with many other topics as well, such as new forms of insect repellant. He became renowned as a writer who combined scientific knowledge with suspense literature, establishing the new genre 'Science-in-Fiction' or 'Science-in-Theatre'.