Yuan T. Leechemist
Birthplace: Hsinchu, Taiwan
Yuan T. Lee was one of three who shared the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Although Lee's childhood in Taiwan was interrupted by World War II, once it resumed he led a full school life that included being second baseman on the baseball team, a member of the little league national championship ping-pong team, and trombone player in the band—all while getting top grades. He earned his B.S. and M.S. in Taiwan and then moved to the U.S. and Berkeley to work on a Ph.D. It was at Berkeley where he became interested in the study concerning the dynamics of chemical elementary processes that would lead to his Nobel Prize. He has taught at the University of Chicago and Berkeley and has received the National Medal of Science and the U.S. Department of Energy's Ernest O. Lawrence Award. He renounced his U.S. citizenship in 1994 to take a post in Taiwan where he has become politically active.