Glenn Seaborg (1912-1999)

Glenn Seaborg was born in Michigan on April 19, 1912, and earned his Ph.D. at Berkeley in chemistry in 1937. He is best known for discovering the element plutonium with Edwin McMillan, in February 1941. He joined the Manhattan Project, and led the team that was responsible for devising the chemical process for the separation, concentration and isolation of plutonium. This process was used at the pilot plant, the Clinton Engineer Works, at the Oakridge site and the production plant at Hanford.

Seaborg served as chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission from 1961 through 1971. He campaigned for the peaceful use of atomic energy and against the testing of nuclear weapons.

He along with McMillan shared the 1951 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for research into transuranic elements. In 1991, Seaborg received the National Medal of Science.

Seaborg and his colleagues were able to create 9 other new transuranic elements (americium, curium, berkelium, californium, einsteinium, fermium, mendelevium, nobelium, and element 106). In August 1997, element 106 was named in his honor, seaborgium (Sg). This was the first time that an element was named for a living person. He died on February 25, 1999.