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Stanford Report, October 6, 1999

Life of J. Murray Luck honored

Publication of Reminiscences, which marks the centennial of the October 1899 birth of biochemist J. Murray Luck, was celebrated by hundreds of colleagues and well-wishers at a reception in Tresidder's Oak Room West Oct. 3.

The autobiography traces the career of Luck, a professor of chemistry and a pioneer in information science. It also includes vignettes of people Luck knew and his own observations on many of the critical political, educational and scientific issues of the 20th century.

At the time of his death in 1993, Luck was a professor emeritus who had taught at Stanford from 1926 to 1965. He was the author of several books and more than 200 papers on topics ranging from chemistry and environmental issues to malnutrition and poverty. He also founded two not-for-profit scholarly publishing enterprises ­ Annual Reviews Inc. and the Society for the Promotion of Science and Scholarship. The new book is available through Annual Reviews (www.AnnualReviews.org) or by faxing William Kaufmann, editor-in-chief emeritus, at 855-9815.

A former science attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Switzerland, Luck also was the leading English-language historian of Switzerland and the author of three books about that country.

Luck taught biochemistry to Stanford medical students in San Francisco and later on the Palo Alto campus, advising more than 2,500 students during almost four decades. His specialty was the role of proteins in carcinogenesis.

Luck played a key role in establishing the first co-op grocery store in Palo Alto, which subsequently led to five supermarkets in the area. He also was part of the founding group responsible for establishing the Stanford Federal Credit Union.

Born in Paris, Ontario, Luck was educated at Brantford Technical Institute, the University of Toronto and Cambridge University. SR