Ruth Benerito Biography

Born: 12 January 1916
Best Known as: inventor of wrinkle-free cotton

Ruth Benerito, a chemist, is widely known for her development of wrinkle-free cotton. She was born in New Orleans, Lousiana and studied chemistry at the women's college of Tulane University, Sophie Newcomb College. She received her B.S. in 1935, M.S. in 1938, and her Ph. D. from the University of Chicago in 1948. Benerito worked at the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Southern Regional Research Center for over 30 years. At the USDA, her specialty was solving problems in the textile, wood, and paper industries using cellulose chemistry. Her research led to a cotton fabric with wrinkle-resistance, which was further improved upon.