“The Farm” is home to 19 living Nobel laureates - 15 affiliated with the university and four affiliated with the Hoover Institution.
Nine additional Stanford laureates are deceased. The business of "claiming" laureates can be controversial: Where and when was a winner's work done? Stanford, for example, lists but does not claim laureates who are not on the faculty, even if they have a significant Stanford connection. And Stanford does not list winners with a more fleeting or tenuous connection. John Steinbeck, the 1962 literature winner, for instance, did not make the cut although he attended Stanford -- receiving a "C" in freshman English in 1919 and dropping out in 1921, only to reenter the university as a journalism major in 1923 and drop out again in 1925.
Stanford’s Nobel Laureates
Economic Sciences (2012)
Thomas J Sargent
Economic Sciences (2011)
A. Michael Spence
Economic Sciences (2001)
Joseph E. Stiglitz
Economic Sciences (2001)
Economic Sciences (1997)
Economic Sciences (1993)
Economic Sciences (1992)
William F. Sharpe
Economic Sciences (1990)
Kenneth J. Arrow
Economic Sciences (1972)
Physics (1952); died 1983; with Edward Mills Purcell "for their development of new methods for nuclear magnetic precision measurements and discoveries in connection therewith." Bloch, a professor of physics, came to Stanford in 1934 and became emeritus in 1971.
Chemistry (1974); died 1985; "for his fundamental achievements, both theoretical and experimental, in the physical chemistry of the macromolecules." Flory, a professor of chemistry, came to Stanford in 1961 and became emeritus in 1975.
Economics (1976) died 2006; awarded the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel "for his achievements in the fields of consumption analysis, monetary history and theory, and for his demonstration of the complexity of stabilization policy." Friedman was a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution from 1977 until he died. He was also a professor emeritus at the University of Chicago.
Physics (1961); died 1990; "for his pioneering studies of electron scattering in atomic nuclei and for his thereby achieved discoveries concerning the structure of the nucleons." Hofstadter, a professor of physics, came to Stanford in 1950 and became emeritus in 1985.
Medicine (1959) died 2007; Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine with Severo Ochoa "for their discovery of the mechanisms in the biological synthesis of ribonucleic acid and deoxyribonucleic acid." Kornberg, a professor of biochemistry at the School of Medicine, came to Stanford in 1959 and became emeritus in 1988.
Linus C. Pauling
Chemistry (1954); peace (1962); died 1994; at the time of the awards at the California Institute of Technology; chemistry: "for his research into the nature of the chemical bond and its application to the elucidation of the structure of complex substances"; peace: for his efforts to bring about an international ban on nuclear testing and to promote world peace. Pauling, a professor of chemistry, came to Stanford in 1969 and became emeritus in 1975.
Arthur L. Schawlow
Physics (1981); died 1999; with Nicolaas Bloembergen "for their contribution to the development of laser spectroscopy." Schawlow, a professor of physics, came to Stanford in 1961 and became emeritus in 1991.
Physics (1956); died 1989; at the time of the award at the Semiconductor Laboratory of Beckman Instruments; with John Bardeen and Walter Houser Brattain "for their researches on semiconductors and their discovery of the transistor effect." Shockley, a professor of electrical engineering, came to Stanford in 1963 and became emeritus in 1975.
Chemistry (1983) died 2005; Nobel Prize in chemistry "for his work on the mechanisms of electron transfer reactions, especially in metal complexes." Taube, a professor chemistry, came to Stanford in 1962 and became emeritus in 2001.
Other Nobel Connections
Eric A. Cornell and Carl E. Wieman shared the 2001 physics prize with Wolfgang Ketterle "for creating Bose-Einstein condensation using laser cooling and evaporation techniques." Cornell, a senior scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and professor adjoint at the University of Colorado-Boulder, received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Stanford in 1985. Wieman, a physics professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder, received his doctorate from Stanford in 1977.
K. Barry Sharpless, chemistry (2001), earned a Stanford degree: Ph.D. '68 in chemistry. The Scripps Research Institute professor was cited "for his work on chirally catalysed oxidation reactions."
Herbert L. Abrams, professor emeritus of radiology, is co-founder (1980) and member of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War; the organization won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985.
John C. Harsanyi, economic sciences (1994), earned a Stanford degree: Ph.D. '59 in economics. The University of California-Berkeley professor was cited with John F. Nash and Reinhard Selten "for their pioneering analysis of equilibria in the theory of non-cooperative games." Harsanyi died Aug. 9, 2000.
Dudley Herschbach, chemistry (1986), holds two Stanford degrees: B.S. '54 in mathematics and M.S. '55 in chemistry. The Harvard professor was cited with Yuan T. Lee and John C. Polanyi "for their contributions concerning the dynamics of chemical elementary processes."
Willis E. Lamb Jr., physics (1955), was a professor at Stanford at the time of his award; he left for Oxford University in 1956. Lamb was cited "for his discoveries concerning the fine structure of the hydrogen spectrum." At Stanford 1951-56; Oxford 1956-62; Yale 1962-74; Arizona 1974-2008; died 2008.
Joshua Lederberg, physiology/medicine (1958), of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, at the time of his award, was chair of genetics at Stanford for several years. Lederberg shared the 1958 prize with two professors who left Stanford before they became Nobelists: George Beadle and Edward Tatum. Lederberg was cited "for his discoveries concerning genetic recombination and the organization of the genetic material of bacteria." Beadle and Tatum were cited "for their discovery that genes act by regulating definite chemical events."
Beadle: At Stanford 1937-47; Caltech, 1947-61; Chicago, 1961-75; died 1989.
Lederberg: AT Stanford 1959-78; Rockefeller University, 1978-1990; died 2008.
Tatum: At Stanford 1937-45 and 1948-57; Yale, 1945-48; Rockefeller Institute, 1957-75; died 1975.
Ferid Murad, physiology/medicine (1998), of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, is a former professor of medicine at Stanford. He was cited with Robert F. Furchgott and Louis J. Ignarro "for their discoveries concerning nitric oxide as a signalling molecule in the cardiovascular system." Murad was affiliated with the University of Virginia, 1975-81; Stanford, 1981-89; Abbott Laboratories, 1990-92; Molecular Geriatrics Corp., 1993-95; University of Texas Medical School, 1996-present.
Melvin Schwartz, physics (1988), was a consulting professor at Stanford at the time of his award; he was a faculty member from 1966 to 1983. He shared the award with Leon M. Lederman and Jack Steinberger "for the neutrino beam method and the demonstration of the doublet structure of the leptons through the discovery of the muon neutrino." At Digital Pathways, Mountain View, Calif., 1983-91; Columbia, 1991-2000; died 2006.