The father of the birth control pill, Carl Djerassi, recently died at the age of 91 in his home in San Francisco. In his lifetime the Austrian-born and Jewish chemist became a playwright and novelist as well as helped to form the foundation for producing steroids. In the 1940s Djerassi requested and received a scholarship from Eleanor Roosevelt to attend college after immigrating to the United States, and eventually went on to obtain his PhD in organic chemistry at the University of Wisconsin. Over the course of his career he became the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Medal of Science (chemistry), the highest science honor in the United States, which was presented by President Richard Nixon. In 1991, President George Bush presented Djerassi with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the US's highest technology award.
From his native Austria, Carl Djerassi received, among others, the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art, the Grand Decoration in Silver for Services to the Republic of Austria, as well as Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Vienna and Innsbruck as well as the Technical University of Graz.
His most recent memoir, In Retrospect : From the Pill to the Pen, was published at the end of 2014.