Leo SternbachBorn: 1908
Benzodiazepines. With the assistance of Lowell Randall and Earl Reeder, he discovered a new class of drugs, called benzodiazepines. Librium (1960) and Valium (1963), the first two drugs from this class, proved to be more effective at reducing stress and anxiety than previous tranquilizers, and had fewer side effects. Their success prompted further research, and several variants were developed, including Versed, Klonopin, Dalmane, Lexotan, Atavan, and Xanax.