Michael Szwarc. 19 June 1909 — 4 August 2000

Joseph Jagur-Grodzinski, Stanislaw Penczek

Elected FRS 1966


Michael Szwarc was born in Będzin, an industrial town in the south of Poland, as an only son of a Jewish family. Michael received his pre–college and college education in Warsaw and in 1932 received his degree in chemical engineering from the Warsaw Polytechnic Institute. After graduation he married in 1933 Maria Frenkel (Marysia), whose brother married his younger sister Rala. From 1933 to 1935 he worked in Poland as a chemical engineer. In 1935 he emigrated to Palestine (today's Israel) and after a year was joined there by his sister and brother–in–law. Two of his three children were born during his stay in Jerusalem, where he was engaged in research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and from which he gained a PhD in organic chemistry. In late 1945 he went to England, where he joined the group under Professor Michael Polanyi FRS in Manchester.