Corwin Hansch, the founder of the QSAR discipline was born on October 6, 1918, in Kenmare, North Dakota. He started his studies at Lincoln College, in 1936-37, worked on his B.S. at the University of Illinois, from 1937 - June 1940 and his Ph.D. at New York University, from 1940 - January 1944.
From January 1944 - July 1944, he was a postdoc at the University of Illinois, Chicago. From July 1944 - October 1944, he worked on the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago. From November 1944 - October 1945, he was active as a group leader on the Manhattan Project, at du Pont de Nemours, in Richland. From October 1945 - February 1946, he was a Research Chemist at du Pont de Nemours, in Wilmington, Delaware.
In February 1946, he joined Pomona College, Claremont, where he is still active today. During this time he spent a sabbatical year at the ETH in Zurich, in 1952, and another sabbatical year at Huisgen's lab, in Munich, in 1959. Whereas his first field of research was high temperature dehydrogenation, early on he changed to correlations of biological activity with chemical structure. Corwin Hansch initiated the field of quantitative structure-activity relationships in the years 1962 and 1963 with these seminal publications: C. Hansch, P. P. Maloney, T. Fujita and R. M. Muir, Correlation of Biological Activity of Phenoxyacetic Acids with Hammett Substituent Constants and Partition Coefficients, Nature 1962, 194, 178-180; C. Hansch, R. M. Muir, T. Fujita, P. P. Maloney, C. F. Geiger and M.Streich, The Correlation of Biological Activity of Plant Growth-Regulators and Chloromycetin Derivatives with Hammett Constants and Partition Coefficients, J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 1963, 85, 2817-2824. In 1964, he published two additional papers that are considered to be the key references for the development of the Hansch Analysis, as it is now called, and for the calculation of partition coefficients from lipophilicity constants.
He has earned numerous honours and awards, including the Smissman-Bristol Award in Medicinal Chemistry from the ACS in 1976, and an honorary professorship from the University of Beijing. His papers are citation classics and for several years he was one of the 300 most cited authors, out of 1 million scientists, active in all different fields of research.
He has more than 300 publications as well asa number of books Several books by other authors have been dedicated to Corwin Hansch, in honor of his contributions to science.