Carl Djerassi is quite possibly the reason for women's sexual freedom. At a time when women and sex were seen as immoral and taboo, Professor Djerassi came and started a sexual revolution. He allowed women to take control of their bodies and empower them. They no longer had to be confined to the house as a housewife and mother, they could now control when they were to get pregnant.

This invention still remains controversial today, but the pill saves lives. It helps prevent ovarian cancer, and helps women regulate hormone levels. It controls the amount of pain and discomfort related to the menstrual cycle. And controls the amount of children born into unhealthy situations.

He is the son of two Jewish doctors. He was born in Austria in 1923 and grew up in Vienna. Being Jewish he was forced to escape the Nazis in 1938. At 16 years old he arrived in New York with no money. Only a few years later her graduated with honors from Kenyon College in Ohio. And received his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin.

During his first job as a chemist he helped discover a new antihistamine, Pyribenzamine. At another job with Syntex lab in Mexico City he directed the first synthesis of the an oral contraceptive for women in 1951. Because of this he is seen as the father of the birth control pill. For this act of genius and revolutionary thought he received the National Medal of Science, the first Wolf Prize in Chemistry, and was inducted into the National Inventors hall of fame.

Starting in 1959 Carl Djerassi has been a Professor of Chemistry at Stanford, president of Syntex Research, and founder of Zeocon. He also is a published author. He has published an autobiography, short stories, poems, novels and memoirs. He recently stopped working and researching at Stanford and now lives in San Francisco with his wife.

Editors note:

Carl Djerassi died on January 30, 2015 from complications of liver and bone cancer. He was 91 years old.

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