Education: PhD Chemistry, Budapest University of Technology and Economics
VP of Central Chemical Research Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Science
Occupation: Department Head in Organic Chemistry
Active role in the revolution: NO
In United States of America
Arrival: 1957, Ohio
Education: Case Western Reserve University
University of Southern California
Occupation: Professor of Chemistryand Researcher
Workplace: University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, California
Awards: Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Olah was born in Budapest, Hungary, on May 22, 1927, to Magda (Krasznai) and Julius Oláh, a lawyer. After the high school of Budapesti Piarista Gimnazium (Scolopi fathers), he studied, then taught, at what is now Budapest University of Technology and Economics.
As a result of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, he and his family moved briefly to England and then to Canada, where he joined Dow Chemical in Sarnia, Ontario, with another Hungarian chemist, Stephen J. Kuhn. Olah’s pioneering work on carbocations started during his eight years with Dow. In 1965 he returned to academia at Case Western Reserve University and then to the University of Southern California in 1977. In 1971, Olah became a naturalized citizen of the United States.
Olah is a distinguished professor Emeritus at the University of Southern California and the director of the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute. In 2005, Olah wrote an essay promoting the methanol economy.
The Olah family formed an endowment fund (the George A. Olah Endowment) which grants annual awards to outstanding chemists. The awards are selected and administered by the American Chemical Society.