John Cornforth, who shared the 1975 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, has died, according to the New York Times. He was 96. Cornforth received the Nobel "for his work on the stereochemistry of enzyme-catalyzed reactions." In particular, he focused on the role of enzymes in cholesterol productions.
The Times notes that a high school teacher pushed Cornforth toward chemistry. Cornforth began to lose his hearing at age 10 due to otosclerosis, and the teacher said that his deafness would be less of a handicap in that field, the Times adds.
His wife Rita, who died last year, was also a chemist and frequent collaborator. “When Rita and I were learning our chemistry here, chemistry was not really very difficult," Cornforth said during a lecture he gave in Australia in 1992. "There was not really all that much to know. Now I am sorry for you people, because there really is a lot to know."