- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 21, 2007

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Inorganic chemist F. Albert Cotton, a Texas A&M; University professor who received the Wolf Prize in 2000 for his work in metallic elements, died Feb. 20. He was 76.

Mr. Cotton held the W.T. Doherty-Welch Foundation chair in chemistry at Texas A&M; and was director of the university’s laboratory for molecular structure and bonding.

“Al Cotton is a legendary figure at Texas A&M;,” Defense Secretary and former Texas A&M; President Robert M. Gates said. “From my first day on campus, I knew how important he was to Texas A&M.;”

Mr. Cotton wrote five text and reference books that sold more than 500,000 copies combined, including editions translated into 40 foreign languages, the school said.

His work earned him numerous honors, including the Priestley Medal from the American Chemical Society and the National Medal of Science. Two awards bear his name: the F.A. Cotton Medal and the F. Albert Cotton Award for Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry.

Mr. Cotton, who earned his doctorate from Harvard, joined the Texas A&M; faculty in 1972 and was named distinguished professor of chemistry a year later. He previously taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

H. Joseph Newton, dean of Texas A&M;’s College of Science, said Mr. Cotton was one of the university’s most important faculty members.

“He was an integral part of its transition from an all-male, all-military school to the full-scale, world-class research institution it is today,” Mr. Newton said.

Mr. Cotton was a member of the American Philosophical Society and the national academies of sciences of the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Denmark.

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