McLafferty discusses his upbringing as he continued his education in chemistry in an accelerated degree program at the University of Nebraska during World War II. Having enlisted in the war and after months of combat, McLafferty returned to Nebraska to earn his Master's degree and later his doctoral degree at Cornell University. Shifting his interests to organic chemistry, he entered industry at the Dow Chemical Company where he was introduced to mass spectrometry, a field that figures prominently in much of McLafferty's collaborations and scientific work. Eventually, he moved into academia, teaching and researching at Purdue University and then Cornell University.
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Fred W. McLafferty, interviewed by Michael A. Grayson in Cornell University on January 22, 2007. Philadelphia: Science History Institute, n.d. Oral History Transcript 0352. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/fb4949477.
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