Dr. Herbert Hauptman Has Died

October 23, 2011 Updated Oct 24, 2011 at 12:44 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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October 23, 2011 Updated Oct 24, 2011 at 12:44 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY ( release ) The Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute was notified that on Sunday October 23, their President and Buffalo's only Nobel Laureate died at the age of 94 as a result of natural causes.

Herbert Aaron Hauptman, Ph.D. ( February 14, 1917 - October 23, 2011 ), an American mathematician and crystallographer, was perhaps best known for receiving the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1985 for developing mathematical methods for deducting the molecular structure of chemical compounds.

"The name of Dr. Herbert Hauptman graces the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute not only because of his Nobel-prize scientific achievements have uplifted HWI, but also because his humanitarian and educational efforts embody all the human elements that an institution can aspire to," HWI Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ed Lattman said.

Hauptman was born in new York City, the oldest of three sons of Israel Hauptman, a printer, and Leah Rosenfeld, a sales clerk. He attended Townsend Harris High School, where his interest in science and mathematics was nurtured, and went on to the City College of New York where he graduated in 1937. While there he was a classmate of Jerome Karle with whom he won the Nobel Prize. Hauptman went on to gain a master's degree in mathematics at Columbia University in 1939.

In November 1940, after a whirlwind romance, he married his young bride Edith Citrynell. Shortly after they were married, Dr. Hauptman joined the legions of other young American men who were sent to serve in World War II in the Southwest Pacific. The experience was a constant presence throughout his life, and led him in future years to actively protest against other American involvement in military actions.

Hauptman joined the Medical Foundation of Buffalo (MFB ), in 1970, rising in 1972 to the role of research director and later president. In 1994, MFB was renamed the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute. Hauptman was also a distinguished professor at the University at Buffalo.

He worked at HWI into his nineties on his own new research projects, as well as in the role of mentor and teacher to younger scientists and staff members.

He is survived by his wife Edith, their two daughters Barbara Hauptman and Carol Fullerton, PhD, a brother Robert, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother Manual in 2009. A memorial service will be held at HWI at a date to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions in his memory be made to the Herbert A. Hauptman Endowment Fund.