Herman S. Bloch

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Herman Samuel Bloch (June 15, 1912 – June 16, 1990) was an American chemist and an inventor. Bloch invented the catalytic converter, a device that removes pollutants from automobile exhaust fumes.[1] Bloch held more than 270 patents.[2] He was the deputy director of research of AlliedSignal Inc, and chairman of the Cook County Housing Authority.[3] He received the Chemical Pioneer Award in 1989 from the American Institute of Chemists.[4] He received the Ernest J. Houdry Award in Applied Catalysis,[2] the E. V. Murphree Award in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry in 1974,[2] and the Richard J. Kokes Memorial Award and Lectureship from Johns Hopkins University in 1971.[5] Bloch was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1975.[2]


Bloch was born in Chicago, Illinois. His parents were Ukrainian-Jewish[6][7] immigrants Aaron and Esther Bloch.[2] He received his B.A. and Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1936 from the University of Chicago.


  1. ^ The New York Times:Obituaries:Herman S. Bloch, 78, Chemist and Inventor, Published: June 19, 1990
  2. ^ a b c d e National Academies Press, V.87
  3. ^ Herman Bloch, inventor, county housing official
  4. ^ American Institute of Chemists:Chemical Pioneer Award Winners:
  5. ^ The North American Catalysis Society (NACS)
  6. ^ Martin Harry Greenberg, The Jewish lists: physicists and generals, actors and writers, and hundreds of other lists of accomplished Jews, Schocken Books (1979), p. 113
  7. ^ Abraham Scheinberg & Harry Cohen, American Jews: Their Lives and Achievements: A Contemporary Biographical Record, vol. 2, American Jewish Literary Foundation (1958), p. 784

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