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In Memoriam: Fred A. Tate (1920-1980)

(Chemical Information Bulletin vol. 33, No. 1, Spring 1981)

The Division of Chemical Information (DCI) lost a valuable member with the death of Dr. Fred A. Tate who suffered a heart attack on November 19, 1980, at age 60.

Dr. Tate was born on January 8, 1920, in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. His undergraduate major was in mathematics, receiving his B.S. from Ohio University in 1947. On receiving his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Harvard University in 1951, he returned to Ohio University as assistant professor of chemistry.

In 1953, he went to Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) as an assistant and then associate editor. In 1956, he joined the administrative engineering department of General Motors; in 1959, he went to Wyeth Laboratories as manager of the scientific information section; and in 1961, he rejoined Chemical Abstracts Service as the assistant director, then acting editor from 1962 to 1967, associate director in 1970, and finally associate director for planning and development in 1974.

Chemical Abstracts Service attributes to Fred its movement into the computer age and the development of the CAS Chemical Registry System from the initial research of Dr. G. Malcolm Dyson (who was Director of Research at CAS). Fred was the ACS voice and international advocate of a worldwide chemical information system. As such, he was responsible for the close cooperation between CAS and other national scientific organizations, especially those in England, West Germany, France, and Japan, in realizing chemical information systems and services that are now available to all throughout the world.

Dr. Tate received the Division of Chemical Information Herman Skolnik Award in 1978 and the Columbus ACS Section Award in 1980.

I first met Fred when he was associated with General Motors. Our friendship grew through mutual interests and involvements over the years. He had an outgoing personality, made friends easily, loved good conversation, and more than held his own in friendly argumentation. He was highly knowledgeable in chemical information science, and through his knowledge, wisdom, and wit, he contributed greatly to those in the Division of Chemical Information who had the good fortune to know him.

His death is a great personal loss to his many friends in the world of chemical information science and especially to those in the Division of Chemical Information.

Herman Skolnik