Nixon Enemies List entry for
|List and position:||Second, #176|
|Name as originally listed:||Carl Djerassi|
|Vitals:||10/29/1923 - 1/23/2015|
|1972 location:||Portola Valley, CA|
- remembered most as "Father of the Pill" for creating synthetic progesterone on Oct. 15, 1951;
- would have preferred the more nurturing "Mother of the Pill," in a 2012 interview for the Kenyon Alumni Bulletin;
- He was working for Syntex in 1951. He bought stock in the company--which would make him rich. He also became president of Syntex in 1959.
- His ranch/estate in California was named SMIP, for "Syntex Made It Possible."
- He is on the Second List among the McGovern supporters, so he was likely included simply because of a big campaign donation. In a 2011 in the Journal of Chemical Education (p. 1366), he said he thought it was because he was "open" about being against the Vietnam War.
- Two months before the Second List became public, Nixon personally bestowed on Djerassi the President's National Medal of Science for Physical Sciences in a White House ceremony. Nixon was most likely unaware that his staff had included Djerassi on the List.
- On page 3155 of the Watergate Testimony, Haldeman explained that the Enemies List was to prevent invitations to the White House for people who might use that "platform for getting extraordinary publicity." (Djerassi was not known as a political activist and apparently did not seek any extraordinary publicity.)
- His obituary in the Kenyon Collegian student newspaper documented his reaction to his place on the List: "Djerassi's graduate students gifted their professor with the official photo of Nixon and Djerassi, complete with a frame bearing the inscription, 'Support your local enemy,' according to Djerassi's son. Djerassi displayed the photo in his Stanford office as an expression of his pride both at winning the medal and at making Nixon's enemies list."
- taught at Stanford University 1959-2002 and then an emeritus professor;
- He was the son of two Austrian Jewish doctors who left Austria in 1939 during the Anschluss, Hitler's "unification" of all German speaking regions. Within months of arriving in the U.S., he wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt for help with college, leading "indirectly" to a scholarship to Tarkio College (see WebOfStories video). He eventually graduated summa cum laude from Kenyon College at age 18.
- was 4F in the draft because of a bad knee from a skiing accident in Bulgaria.
- wrote an autobiography in 1992, The Pill, Pygmy Chimps, and Degas' Horse;
- wrote a remarkable variety of non-fiction, fiction, poetry and plays. He made a point of saying he wrote "science in fiction," not "science fiction." See his Wikipedia entry for the list of his writings.
- Djerassi.org is the Djerassi Resident Artists Program he founded in California after his artistic daughter committed suicide.
- Djerassi.com is the personal website for Dr. Djerassi.
- For English speakers, usually pronounced jer-ASS-ee, kinda like Jurassic Park.
- Neither the NY Times nor the Washington Post mentioned the Second Enemies List.
- He was an Austrian-American Jew who emigrated from Bulgaria, then worked in Mexico for a Panamanian company (Syntex). He was creative in multiple positive ways. Once again, Nixon's Enemies List served as a highlight for people much more interesting than Nixon himself.
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