Nobel Prize-winning chemist Robert Curl, who spent six decades at Rice University, Houston, Texas, has died at 88.
Curl and his research team won the award in 1996 for their discovery of a carbon form known as “buckyballs.” The finding cemented Rice as a leader in materials research and made Curl one of the most beloved, prominent figures on campus, university officials said.
“Despite winning one of science’s top honors, Bob was a quiet hero who stayed true to his passions - scientific discovery, teaching and the spirit of collegiality,” Rice President Reginald DesRoches said in a news release. “During his 64 years as a faculty member at Rice, Bob mentored countless students and colleagues. His institutional presence on campus made a profound contribution to the university’s culture and character that will live on for years to come.”