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Dexter French papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 13/35/12

Scope and Content

The collection (1941-2011, undated) contains biographical information and newspaper clippings on Dexter French's life and work. It also contains reprints of many of Dr. French's articles relating to his research on the structure of starch and the chemical basis for the catalytic action of enzymes that act on starch.


  • 1941-2011, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Dexter French was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on February 23, 1918. His parents were Raymond Albert and Minnie Emily (Omerod) French. He received his A.B. (1938) in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Dubuque and his Ph.D. (1942) in plant chemistry from Iowa State College (University). He was a Postdoctoral Fellow (1942-1944) at the Harvard Medical School. French worked as a Research Chemist (1944-1945) for Corn Products Co. and as a Consultant (1947-1948) for the Sioux Honey Association and the National Starch and Chemical Corporation.

In 1946, French was named Assistant Professor (1946-1951) of plant chemistry at Iowa State. He was promoted to Associate Professor (1951-1955) and Professor (1955-1960) of chemistry. French then served as Professor (1960-1968) and Distinguished Professor (1968-1981) in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. He also served as Chair (1963-1971, 1974-1975) of the department.

French received numerous awards for his research into the chemical and physical structure of starches, including the Hudson Award (1964) and the Agricultural and Food Chemistry Award (1980) from the American Chemical Society, a Faculty Citation (1970) from the Iowa State University Alumni Association, the Alsberg-Schoch Award (1974) of the American Association of Cereal Chemists, and the Iowa Award (1977) of the Iowa Section of the American Chemical Society. In 1978, the publication Carbohydrate Research dedicated an issue to French.

French married Mary Catherine Martin in 1939. They had seven children. French passed away on November 26, 1981.


0.63 Linear Feet (1 document box and 1 half-document box)


The collection is organized Chronologically with biographical and personal information at the front.

Items in related collections

RS 13/35. Iowa State University. Roy J. Carver Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology records, 1954-2012

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 13/35/12. Dexter French papers, 1941-2011, undated
April 18, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672