Pauline Gracia Beery Mack

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Pauline Gracia Beery Mack
Pauline Gracia Beery Mack (1891-1974) (5493947511).jpg
Born (1891-12-19)December 19, 1891
Norborne, Missouri
Died October 22, 1974(1974-10-22) (aged 82)
Denton, Texas, US
Residence United States
Nationality American
Alma mater Missouri State University, Columbia University, Pennsylvania State University
Known for Work on nutrition, calcium, and bone density
Awards Garvan–Olin Medal (1950)
Silver Snoopy award (1970)
Scientific career
Fields Chemistry
Institutions Pennsylvania State University, Texas Women's University

Pauline Gracia Beery Mack (December 19, 1891 – October 22, 1974) was an American chemist, home economist, and college administrator. Her research in calcium, nutrition, radiation, and bone density began during the 1930s, and culminated in work for NASA when she was in her seventies.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Pauline Beery was born in Norborne, Missouri. She earned a degree in chemistry at Missouri State University (1913).[2] During World War I, Beery taught high school science in Missouri, before returning to graduate work. She was granted a master's degree in chemistry in 1919, from Columbia University. In 1932, at age 40, Beery finished her doctoral work at Penn State.[3]


Pauline Beery taught chemistry in the home economics program at Penn State beginning in 1919. She was director of the Pennsylvania Mass Studies in Human Nutrition project, and of the Ellen H. Richards Institute.[4] In 1950 her work on calcium, nutrition, and bone density measurement was recognized with a Francis P. Garvan Medal from the American Chemical Society.[5][6][7]

While her main work was in nutrition and physiology, she was also concerned with textiles, detergents, and dyes. She was technical advisor to the Pennsylvania Laundry Owners Association, and helped to develop the standards code of the Pennsylvania Association of Cleaners and Dyers.[8]

Dr. Mack was prolific in publications during her Penn State years, with titles including Chemistry Applied to Home and Economy (1926), Stuff: The Science of Materials in the Service of Man (New York: Appleton, 1930), Colorfastness of Women's and Children's Wearing-Apparel Fabrics (American Home Economics Association, 1942), and Calories Make a Difference: Report of Studies on Three Groups of Children (Sugar Research Foundation, 1949). She also created and edited "Chemistry Leaflet," a magazine published by the Science Service.[9]

In her later years, she became dean of the College of Household Arts and Sciences at Texas State College for Women, and built an exceptionally well-funded and well-regarded research program there during a decade as administrator (1952–1962).[10] At age 70, she retired from administration to become a research director, working mainly on grants from NASA to understand the ways weightlessness might affect bone density.[11][12] Her work resulted in a diet used to mitigate those effects. She was the first woman to receive a Silver Snoopy award for professional excellence.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Pauline Beery married botanist and printmaker Warren Bryan Mack in December 1923.[14][15] The couple had two children, Oscar and Anna. She was widowed in 1952. Pauline Beery Mack retired from research due to ill health in 1973, and died the following year, at Denton, Texas.


Pauline Gracia Beery Mack's papers are in the Women's Collection Archives, Texas Women's University, Denton, Texas, and at the Pennsylvania State University Libraries.[16][17] Her grave is at the Centre County Memorial Park in State College, Pennsylvania.[18]


  1. ^ Judith N. McArthur, "Mack, Pauline Gracia Beery," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 18, 2014.
  2. ^ Joseph Glenn Babb and Hugh James MacKay, A Short History of the University (University of Missouri, 1915): 23.
  3. ^ NR, "Mack, Pauline Beery (1891–1974)," in Marilyn Bailey Oglivie and Joy Dorothy Harvey, eds., The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science: L–Z (Taylor & Francis 2000): pp. 822–824.
  4. ^ "Federation to Hear Dr. Mack on Wednesday," Gettysburg Times (April 13, 1942): p. 2.
  5. ^ "Woman Who Probes Nation's Eating Habits Says She's Never Had Time to Be a Cook," Toledo Blade (April 3, 1950): p. 18.
  6. ^ Maya Pines, "Diet Sleuth Gets Medal for her Work," The Miami News (May 17, 1950): p. 27.
  7. ^ List of recipients, Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal, American Chemical Society website.
  8. ^ Winnifred Gail Younkin, "The Intersection of Discipline and Roles: Dr. Pauline Mack's Story as an Instrumental Case study with Implications for Leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics" (EdD dissertation, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2009): p. 168.
  9. ^ Tad Bennicoff, "Merging Chemistry and Nutrition: Pauline Gracia Beery Mack," Smithsonian Institution Archives (March 17, 2011).
  10. ^ Gay Pauley, "Doctor Hits Poor Diet of Teenagers," Wilmington Sunday Star (June 7, 1953): p. 14.
  11. ^ Pauline Gracia Beery Mack, The Effect of Space Flight on Bone Demineralization: Report on Experiment M-6 (Texas Women's University, for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1969).
  12. ^ Pauline Berry Mack and Paul L. LaChance, "Effects of Recumbency and Space Flight on Bone Density," The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 20(11)(November 1967): 1194-1205.
  13. ^ "Dr. Pauline Beery Mack Dies in Denton," Southwest Retort 27(3)(November 1974): p. 28.
  14. ^ Ruth Ayers, "Scientists and their Wives Lead Lives of 'Atom and Eve,'" The Pittsburgh Press (December 27, 1934): p. 2.
  15. ^ "Warren Bryan Mack," National Academy Museum website.
  16. ^ Pauline Beery Mack Papers, Texas Women's University Libraries, Mss 056.
  17. ^ Finding Aid, Pauline Beery Mack Papers, 1922-1950, PSUA 590, Pennsylvania State University Libraries.
  18. ^ "Pauline Beery Mack (1891 - 1974) - Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved 2014-03-18. 

Further reading[edit]