John E. McMurry

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John McMurry
Born (1942-07-27) July 27, 1942 (age 74)
New York City, United States
Nationality American
Institutions University of California, Santa Cruz,
Cornell University
Alma mater Harvard University A.B. 1964
Columbia University Ph.D. 1967
Doctoral advisor Gilbert Stork
Known for McMurry reaction

John E. McMurry, born July 27, 1942, in New York City, is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University. He received an A.B. from Harvard University in 1964 and his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1967 working with Gilbert Stork. Following completion of his Ph.D., he joined the faculty of the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1967 and moved to Cornell University in 1980.


The author of more than 100 research papers, Professor McMurry is best known scientifically for his development of the McMurry reaction, in which two molecules of ketone or aldehyde are coupled to give an alkene when treated with titanium(III) chloride and a reducing agent such as Zn(Cu). The reaction has been widely used by the chemical community in the laboratory synthesis of many complex organic molecules and by the pharmaceutical industry in the commercial synthesis of several drugs. McMurry was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1985 and received a Max Planck Society Research Award in 1991.

In addition to his scientific work, McMurry is the author of 40 undergraduate chemistry textbooks. More than 3.5 million copies of his books in 12 languages have been used throughout the world. Among his current texts are:

  • Organic Chemistry (9th edition) [1]
  • Organic Chemistry with Biological Applications (3rd edition) [2]
  • Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry (7th edition) [3]
  • Chemistry (7th edition) [4]
  • General Chemistry, Atoms First (2nd edition) [5]
  • Fundamentals of General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry (8th edition) [6]
  • The Organic Chemistry of Biological Pathways (2nd edition) [7]


  1. ^ McMurry, J. E. (2016). Organic Chemistry, 9th edition. Cengage Learning. ISBN 9781305080485 [1]
  2. ^ McMurry, J. E. (2015). Organic Chemistry with Biological Applications, 3rd edition. Cengage Learning. ISBN 9781285842912 [2]
  3. ^ McMurry, J. E. (2011). Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry, 7th edition. Cengage Learning. ISBN 9780495391449 [3]
  4. ^ McMurry, J. E., Fay, R. C., Robinson, J. K. (2016). Chemistry, 7th edition. Pearson Education. ISBN 9780321943170 [4]
  5. ^ McMurry, J. E., Fay, R. C. (2014). General Chemistry, Atoms First, 2nd edition. Pearson Education. ISBN 9780321809261 [5]
  6. ^ McMurry, J. E., Ballantine, D. S., Hoeger, C.A., Peterson, V. E. (2017). Fundamentals of General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry, 8th Edition. Pearson Education. ISBN 9780134015187 [6]
  7. ^ McMurry, J. E., Begley, T. P. (2016). The Organic Chemistry of Biological Pathways, 2nd edition. Macmillan Learning. ISBN 9781936221561 [7]