Bengelsdorf, Irving S. 1922–2007

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Bengelsdorf, Irving S. 1922–2007

(Irving Swem Bengelsdorf)


See index for CA sketch: Born October 23, 1922, in Chicago, IL; died of kidney failure, June 22, 2007, in Oceanside, CA. Science columnist, editor, journalist, chemist, and educator. Bengelsdorf was best known as a science writer, but he spent nearly ten years as a research chemist in the early days of his career, including posts at the General Electric Research Laboratory, the Texaco-U.S. Rubber Research Center, and the U.S. Borax Research Corporation. Later he worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada, California, as a grant writer and director of science communication. Bengelsdorf devoted much of his time to explaining science to the general reader. His column "Of Atoms and Men" appeared in the Los Angeles Times, where he worked as the science editor from 1963 to 1970. Afterward he taught science communication at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and appeared occasionally at other institutions, including the University of Southern California and the University of California at Los Angeles. Bengelsdorf received several awards for science journalism in the 1960s, including the James T. Grady Award of the American Chemical Society, Westinghouse Awards from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Claude Bernard Science Journalism Award from the National Society for Medical Research. Though most of his writing appeared in newspapers, such as the Times and later the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, Bengelsdorf also wrote the book Space Ship Earth: People and Pollution (1969).



Los Angeles Times, July 20, 2007, p. B6.