Carothers, Wallace

Carothers, Wallace (Hume)

(1896–1937) chemist, inventor; born in Burlington, Iowa. A teacher's son, he taught chemistry at several universities before concentrating on industrial research. Working for the Du Pont Company, he produced neoprene, the first synthetic rubber, and followed that success with the discovery of nylon. He committed suicide, and the patent for nylon went posthumously to Du Pont.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.