Physicist Linus Carl Pauling (1901-1994) was born on this day in Portland, Oregon. His parents and great-grandparents were pioneers who traveled the Oregon Trail.
As a youngster, Pauling would read the Encyclopedia Britannica for entertainment. "Even as a child I wanted to understand the world about me," he said.
Pauling earned two individual Nobel Prizes, in Chemistry (1954) for his research in the structure of molecular chemical bonding and for Peace (1962) following a relentless campaign against nuclear testing.
"Satisfaction of one's curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life," he once said.
Pauling's revolutionary research in biochemistry helped to draw the link between molecular irregularities and hereditary disease.
He sparked controversy in 1970 with his book, Vitamin C and the Common Cold, in which he claimed massive doses of vitamin C could extend lifespan, boost the immune system, and prevent cancer. He admitted taking 18,000 milligrams of the vitamin daily, 300 times the daily allowance.
"The way to get good ideas," he said, "is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away."
Always compensate for subjective error.