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Howard Zimmerman
Born (1926-07-05)July 5, 1926
New York City, New York[1]
Died February 12, 2012(2012-02-12) (aged 85)
Madison, Wisconsin[2]
Alma mater Yale University
Occupation Professor of chemistry, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Howard E. Zimmerman aka Z (July 5, 1926 – February 12, 2012) was a professor of chemistry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.[3] He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1980[4] and the recipient of the 1985 American Institute of Chemists Pioneering Award.[5][6]


Howard E. Zimmerman was a native of Connecticut.[7] During World War II he served in the U.S. Armored Corps in Europe where he was a tank gunner. His final rank was technical sergeant.[8] He obtained a B. S. in Chemistry in 1950 and a Ph. D in 1953 both from Yale University.[8] He was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with a National Research Council fellowship from 1953 to 1954 working with R. B. Woodward (Harvard).[8] From 1954 to 1960 he was Assistant Professor at Northwestern University.[8] Beginning in 1960 he was Associate Professor and then Professor at the University of Wisconsin,[8] and from 1990 he was Hilldale and A. C. Cope Professor of Chemistry. His publications number over 285 (including 11 chapters).

Zimmerman gave ACS Short Courses on organic quantum chemistry and molecular orbital theory. He authored a 1975 textbook entitled Quantum Mechanics for Organic Chemists.[9] Zimmerman was the organizer of the 1972 IUPAC Photochemistry Symposium (Baden-Baden) and of five Pacifichem Symposia – the last being Pacifichem 2010.


  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Sigma Xi
  • The Chittenden Award given to the top B.S. graduate in the Yale class of 1950[8][10]
  • The first Northeast ACS Award for Photochemistry (1971)[8]
  • The ACS James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry (1976)[8][11][12]
  • The Halpern Award of the New York Academy of Sciences (1980)[8][13]
  • Election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1980
  • Recipient of the 1985 American Institute of Chemists Pioneering Award[8][14]
  • A Senior Alexander von Humboldt Award (1988)[8][14]
  • The (1990) Hilldale Award in the Physical Sciences from the University of Wisconsin[8][14]
  • In 1991 the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award of the ACS[8][12]
  • The 2006 IUPAC Porter Medal for Photochemical Research[8][14]

Selected bibliography[]

  • "The Stereochemistry of the Ketonization Reaction of Enols," Zimmerman, H. E. J. Org. Chem., 1955, 20, 549-557. ISSN: 0022-3263
  • "The Stereochemistry of the Ivanov and Reformatsky Reactions. I," Zimmerman, H. E.; Traxler, M. D. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1957, 79, 1920-1923. ISSN:0002-7863
  • "The Photochemical Rearrangement of 4,4-Diphenylcyclohexadienone. Paper I on a General Theory of Photochemical Reactions," Zimmerman, H. E.; Schuster, D. I. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1961, 83, 4486-4487. ISSN:0002-7863
  • "On Molecular Orbital Correlation Diagrams, the Occurrence of Möbius Systems in Cyclization Reactions, and Factors Controlling Ground and Excited State Reactions. I," Zimmerman, H. E. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1966, 88, 1564-1565. ISSN:0002-7863
  • "Photochemical Migratory Aptitudes in Cyclohexenones. Mechanistic and Exploratory Organic Photochemistry. XXIII," Zimmerman, H. E.; Rieke, R. D.; Scheffer, J. R. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1967, 89, 2033-2047. ISSN:0002-7863
  • "The Di-π-Methane Rearrangement. Interaction of Electronically Excited Vinyl Chromophores. Zimmerman, H. E.; Mariano, P. S. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1969, 91, 1718-1727. ISSN:0002-7863
  • "The Barrelene to Semibullvalene Transformation. Correlation of Excited State Potential Energy Surfaces With Reactivity. Mechanistic and Exploratory Organic Photochemistry. XLIV," Zimmerman, H. E.; Binkley, R. W.; Givens, R. S.; Sherwin, M. A.; Grunewald, G. L.; J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1969, 91, 3316-3323. ISSN:0002-7863 .
  • "The Möbius-Hückel Concept in Organic Chemistry. Application to Organic Molecules and Reactions," Zimmerman, H. E. Acc. Chem. Res., 1971, 4, 272-280. ISSN:0001-4842
  • "Quantum Mechanics for Organic Chemists," Zimmerman, H. E. Academic Press, New York, 1975. ISBN 0-12-781650-X
  • "Some Theoretical Aspects of Organic Photochemistry," Zimmerman, H. E. Accts. of Chem. Research, 1982, 10, 312-317. ISSN:0001-4842
  • "Kinetic Protonation of Enols, Enolates and Analogs; The Stereochemistry of Ketonization," Zimmerman, H. E.. Accounts of Chem. Res.', 1987, 20, 263-268. ISSN:0001-4842
  • "Regioselectivity of the Birch Reduction", Zimmerman, H. E.; Wang, P. A., J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1993, 115, 2205-2216. ISSN:0002-7863
  • "The Meta Effect in Organic Photochemistry; Mechanistic and Exploratory Organic Photochemistry", Zimmerman, H. E., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1995, 117, 8988-8991. ISSN:0002-7863
  • "Synthetic Aspects of the Di-π-methane Rearrangement", Zimmerman, H. E.; Armesto, D. Chem. Revs, 1996, 96, 3065-3112. ISSN:0009-2665
  • "Energy Distribution and Redistribution and Chemical Reactivity. The Generalized Delta Overlap-Density Method for Ground State and Electron Transfer Reactions; A new Quantitative Counterpart of Electron Pushing”, Zimmerman, H. E.; Alabugin, I. V. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2001, 121, 2265-2270 ISSN:0002-7863
  • “Inter and Intramolecular Stereoselective Protonation of Enols”, Zimmerman, H. E.; Wang, P., J. Org. Chem. 2002, 69, 9216-9226. ISSN:0022-3263
  • "Triplet Photochemistry of Vinyl Cyclopropenes; Mechanistic and Exploratory Organic Photochemistry", Zimmerman, H. E., J Org. Chem. 2009, 73, 1247-1251. ISSN:0022-3263.


  1. "Obituaries: Zimmerman, Howard E.". February 19, 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  2. Tenenbaum, David. "Howard Zimmerman, pioneer in organic chemistry, dies at 85". University of Wisconsin–Madison News. University of Wisconsin–Madison. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  3. "Faculty Info". University of Wisconsin. Retrieved 2010-04-05. 
  4. "National Academy of Sciences:". Retrieved 2010-04-05. 
  5. "Chemical Pioneer Award". American Institute of Chemists. Retrieved 2010-04-05. [dead link]
  6. Schuster, D. I. (2012), Howard E. Zimmerman (1926–2012). Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 51: 5286–5288. doi:10.1002/anie.201202970
  7. "EPA Newsletter". E uropean Phocochemistry Association. December 2006. Retrieved 2010-04-07. 
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 "IAPS Newsletter". Inter American Photochemical Society. 2006 iaps-newsletter_2006.pdf (application/pdf Object). Retrieved 2010-04-07. 
  9. Zimmerman, Howard E. (1975). Quantum mechanics for organic chemists. New York: Academic Press. ISBN 978-0-12-781650-0. OCLC 1104091. 
  10. "Prizes for High Scholarship or Character". Yale University. Retrieved 2010-04-08. 
  11. "James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry". American Chemical Society. Retrieved 2010-04-08. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Awards by Topic". American Chemical Society. Retrieved 2010-04-08. 
  13. Anthony Trozzolo (2006). "A transient lifetime in photochemistry". In Pat Green. Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio: Center for Photochemical Sciences. ISSN 1044-5536. Retrieved 2010-04-08. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 "Awards". UW Madison - Department of Chemistry. Retrieved 2010-04-08. 

External links[]

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