M. Frederick Hawthorne

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M. Frederick Hawthorne
Born (1928-08-24) August 24, 1928 (age 92)
NationalityUnited States
Alma materMissouri School of Mines and Metallurgy (B.A.)
University of California, Los Angeles (Ph.D.)
Known forBoron hydrides
AwardsTolman Award (1986)
King Faisal International Prize (2003)
Priestley Medal (2009)
National Medal of Science (2011)
Scientific career
FieldsInorganic chemistry
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Los Angeles
University of Missouri
ThesisThe effect of configuration on steric inhibition of resonance in diastereomerically related compounds and The application of Hammett's Rho-Sigma treatment to the termolecular benzoxylation of triphenylmethyl chloride. (1953)
Doctoral advisorDonald J. Cram
Doctoral studentsWilliam J. Evans
R. Tom Baker
Omar Farha

Marion Frederick Hawthorne (born August 24, 1928) is an inorganic chemist who has made contributions to the chemistry of boron hydrides, especially their clusters.


Hawthorne received his elementary and secondary education in Kansas and Missouri. Prior to high school graduation, through examination he entered the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, Rolla, Missouri as a chemical engineering student. He then transferred to Pomona College, where he received a B.A. degree in chemistry. While there he conducted research with Corwin Hansch. Hawthorne pursued his PhD in organic chemistry under Donald Cram at the University of California, Los Angeles. He conducted postdoctoral research at Iowa State University before joining the Redstone Arsenal Research Division of the Rohm and Haas Company in Huntsville, Alabama.

Professional career[edit]

At the Redstone Arsenal, he worked on the chemistry of boron hydrides making several notable discoveries. In 1962, he moved to the University of California, Riverside as professor of chemistry. He transferred to the Los Angeles campus in 1969. In 1998 he was appointed University Professor of Chemistry at UCLA. He then returned to his home state of Missouri as head of the International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine at University of Missouri.

Hawthorne was long associated with the journal Inorganic Chemistry, being the longest serving editor-in-chief.

The dodecaborate anion ([B12H12]2−) was discovered by Pitochelli and Hawthorne.

Hawthorne's contributions focused on the chemistry of boron hydride clusters. He discovered dodecaborate anion (B12H122−)[1] and metal complexes of the dicarbollide anion.[2] His group subsequently discovered the perhydroxylation of B12H122−.[3]


Hawthorne has been widely recognized, including election to the US National Academy of Sciences.


  1. ^ Anthony R. Pitochelli, Frederick M. Hawthorne "The Isolation of Icosahedral B12H122− Ion" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1960, volume 82, pp 3228–3229.doi:10.1021/ja01497a069
  2. ^ M. F. Hawthorne, D. C. Young, P. A. Wegner, "Carbametallic Boron Hydride Derivatives. I. Apparent Analogs of Ferrocene and Ferricinium Ion" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1965, volume 87, pp. 1818-1819. doi:10.1021/ja01086a053
  3. ^ M. W. Lee, Jr., A. V. Safronov, S. Jalisatgi, M. F. Hawthorne "Cesium dodecahydroxy-closododecaborate, Cs2[B12(OH)12]" Inorg. Syntheses 2010, volume 35. doi:10.1002/9780470651568.ch2
  4. ^ "Honorary Doctors of the Faculty of Mathematics and Science". Uppsala University. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  5. ^ "Chemical Pioneer Award". American Institute of Chemists. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  6. ^ Ritter, Stephen K. (June 18, 2008). "Hawthorne is 2009 Priestley Medalist". C&EN. Archived from the original on April 4, 2016.
  7. ^ Wall, Timothy (December 27, 2012). "President Obama Honors MU Researcher with National Medal of Science" (Press release). University of Missouri News Bureau. Retrieved January 18, 2018.