Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches
ROGER J. WILLIAMS
Roger J. Williams, professor emeritus of chemistry, died on February 20, 1988. He was 94.
Professor Williams was born on August 14, 1893, in Ootacumund, India, of missionary parents. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Redlands in 1914, and master's and PhD degrees from the University of Chicago in 1918 and 1919, respectively.
Dr. Williams worked as a research chemist and taught at the University of Oregon and Oregon State College. He joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin in 1939. Dr. Williams founded the Clayton Foundation Biochemical Institute and served as its director from 1941 to 1963. Under his direction, more vitamin discoveries were made at the institute than at any other laboratory in the world. Institute discoveries included three forms of vitamin B6, synthesis of vitamin B12, and lipoic acid.
Professor Williams made major professional contributions to his field. He discovered the B vitamin and pantothenic acid. He also concentrated and named folic acid. His research resulted in 22 books and nearly 300 articles. Two of his outstanding publications were The Human Frontier and Biochemical Individuality: The Basis for the Genetotrophic Concept. Later he published the widely read Nutrition in a Nutshell and Nutrition Against Disease: Environmental Prevention.
Professor Williams was president of the American Chemical Society in 1957 and held membership in the National Academy of Sciences. He received the Mead Johnson Award from the American Institute of Nutrition and the Chandler Medal from Columbia University for his discovery of pantothenic acid.
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
Biographical sketch prepared by Teresa Palomo Acosta and posted on the Faculty Council web site on December 20, 2000. Additional biographical sources can be found in Barker Texas History Center, the UT Office of Public Affairs, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry web site, and the New Handbook of Texas, Texas State Historical Association, 1996.
The following note was added after the distribution of the biographical sketch on December 20, 2000. A resolution prepared by a special committee can be found on pages 19081-19084 in the bound volume of the Documents and Minutes of the General Faculty for 1990-1991.