Monday, September 12, 2011

Norman R. Farnsworth, Renowned Medicinal Plant Researcher, Dies at 81

From American Botanical Council

Renowned pharmacognosist and internationally-respected medicinal plant research expert, Norman R. Farnsworth, PhD, died on September 10 at a Chicago hospital. He was 81 and had been in declining health for months, suffering from long-term congestive heart failure and type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Farnsworth was born on March 23, 1930 in Massachusetts. Norman Farnsworth was a veteran of the Korean War, drafted in the US Army at age 18 in 1949. PFC Farnsworth served in the Third Infantry Division, Seventh Regimental Combat Team. Although he was seriously wounded in the winter of 1950, Farnsworth survived. Corporal Farnsworth was awarded the Korean Ribbon with Four Battle Stars, the Combat Medical Badge, and Bronze Star with a "V" device.

He received his degree in pharmacy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in 1953 and his PhD in pharmacognosy, the study of drugs from natural origins (including medicinal plants, microbes, marine organisms, and fungi), from the University of Pittsburgh in 1959. At Pitt, he helped to institute a pharmacognosy PhD program at the university and was the first to chair it.
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