Google, the most popular search engine, honored the life of Albert von Szent-Györgyi de Nagyrápolt on his 118th birthday anniversary today with a Doodle on its hompage.
Szent-Györgyi is credited with discovering vitamin C and the components and reactions of the citric acid cycle.
Born in Budapest on September 16, 1893, Szent-Györgyi’s family included three generations of scientists. He began his studies at the Semmelweis University in 1911, but soon became bored with classes and began research in his uncle’s anatomy lab. His studies were interrupted in 1914 to serve as an army medic in the First World War.
In 1916, disgusted with the war, Szent-Györgyi shot himself in the arm, claimed to be wounded from enemy fire, and was sent home on medical leave. He was then able to finish his medical education and receive his MD in 1917.
During his research career Szent-Györgyi worked in a number of universities. He was awarded with the Nobel Prize in 1937 for “his discoveries in connection with the biological combustion processes, with special reference to vitamin-C and the catalysis of fumaric acid.”
With communism taking control of Hungary after the Second World War, Szent-Györgyi emigrated to the United States in 1947. He died in Woods Hole, Massachusetts on October 22, 1986, at the age of 93 .
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