From Our Vault: Paulings find eternal peace in Oswego Pioneer Cemetery
One of the world's greatest scientists, humanitarians, defenders of civil liberties and proponents of good nutrition is buried next to his wife in Oswego Pioneer Cemetery. Dr. Linus Pauling and Ava Helen Pauling were remarkable human beings, together and individually.
Linus Carl Pauling was born in Portland and spent many summers with his grandparents, who lived on Fourth Street in Lake Oswego. He received his early education
in Oregon, finishing in 1922 with a bachelor's in chemical engineering from Oregon
Agricultural College in Corvallis — now Oregon State University.
Pauling went to the California Institute of Technology for post-graduate study. In 1925, he received a Ph.D. in chemistry and mathematical physics; he joined the Caltech faculty in the fall of 1927.
Ava Helen Miller was born in Beavercreek but grew up in Salem. She also attended OSU, which is where she and Linus met. At the time, 21-year-old Pauling was helping to teach a course titled "Chemistry for Home Economics Majors," in which Miller was enrolled. They married in 1923.
Ava Helen was well-known as a human rights activist, with a special interest in women's rights, racial equality and international peace. She is credited with introducing her husband to the field of peace studies, for which he received the 1962 Nobel Peace Prize. He used to say that it was really Ava Helen who should have won the prize, or that it at least should have been shared.
Together, the Paulings played a key role in the establishment of a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, gathering 13,000 signatures of scientists from around the world — including 38 Nobel laureates — in the late 1950s and early '60s that they presented to the United Nations, calling for disarmament and the end of testing.
Linus Pauling was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on the day in 1963 that a limited test ban treaty took effect. He had already received a Nobel Prize in 1954 for Chemistry, which means he is the only person to receive two unshared Nobel Prizes.
Want to know more about the Paulings? The Oswego Pioneer Cemetery is one of the stops on this year's Oswego Heritage Council Historic Home Tour, which will include lots of information on the people buried there. The tour is scheduled from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, May 20.
For more information, visit oswegoheritage.org or call 503-635-6373.