Albert Hofmann, the Father of LSD, Dies at 102
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times
Posted: May 8th, 2008
Albert Hofmann, the mystical Swiss chemist who gave the world LSD, the most powerful psychotropic substance known, died ... at his hilltop home near Basel, Switzerland. He was 102. Dr. Hofmann first synthesized the compound lysergic acid diethylamide in 1938 but did not discover its psychopharmacological effects until five years later, when he accidentally ingested the substance that became known to the 1960s counterculture as acid. More important to him than the pleasures of the psychedelic experience was the drugs value as a revelatory aid for contemplating and understanding what he saw as humanitys oneness with nature. He earned his Ph.D. ... in 1929, when he was just 23. It was during his work on the ergot fungus, which grows in rye kernels, that he stumbled on LSD, accidentally ingesting a trace of the compound one ... afternoon in April 1943. Dr. Hofmanns work produced other important drugs, including methergine, used to treat postpartum hemorrhaging, the leading cause of death from childbirth. But it was LSD that shaped both his career and his spiritual quest. Through my LSD experience and my new picture of reality, I became aware of the wonder of creation, the magnificence of nature and of the animal and plant kingdom, Dr. Hofmann told the psychiatrist Stanislav Grof during an interview in 1984. I became very sensitive to what will happen to all this and all of us. Dr. Hofmann became an impassioned advocate for the environment and argued that LSD, besides being a valuable tool for psychiatry, could be used to awaken a deeper awareness of mankinds place in nature and help curb societys ultimately self-destructive degradation of the natural world.