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Francis Crick

Scientist

Born: 8 June 1916
Died: 28 July 2004 (colon cancer)
Birthplace: Northampton, England
Best known as: Co-discoverer of the structure of DNA

Name at birth: Francis Harry Compton Crick

Francis Crick was 35 when he began working with fellow scientist James Watson to discover the makeup of DNA, the genetic code of life. In 1953 they came up with the now-famous double-helix model, and published their findings in the April, 1953 entry in the scientific journal Nature. The discovery assured Crick and Watson of lasting fame; among many other honors, they were awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Medicine. His books include Of Molecules and Men (1966), Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature (1981) and Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul (1994).

Extra credit: Crick and Watson shared the 1962 Nobel Prize with Maurice Wilkins... Their work on DNA was helped along by the work of X-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin... Crick married the former Ruth Dodd in 1940; they were divorced in 1947. He married the former Odile Speed in 1949, and they remained married until Crick's death in 2004.

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