Oral history interview with George Rosenkranz

Oral history interview with George Rosenkranz

  • 1997-May-17

George Rosenkranz was born in Budapest, Hungary and studied chemical engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. While en-route to Ecuador to assume an academic position at the University of Quito, Rosenkranz decided to stay in Havana and eventually started a career in industry, most notably at Syntex Corporation where he climbed the managerial ranks to CEO. Rosenkranz concludes the interview with a discussion of Syntex's growth and future endeavors.

Place of interview
Original file type PDF, MP3
  • 37 pages
Rights Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute

About the Interviewer

James G. Traynham is a professor of chemistry at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. He holds a PhD in organic chemistry from Northwestern University. He joined Louisiana State University in 1953 and served as chemistry department chairperson from 1968 to 1973. He was chairman of the American Chemical Society’s Division of the History of Chemistry in 1988 and is currently councilor of the Baton Rouge section of the American Chemical Society. He was a member of the American Chemical Society’s Joint-Board Council on Chemistry and Public Affairs, as well as a member of the Society’s Committees on Science, Chemical Education, and Organic Chemistry Nomenclature. He has written over 90 publications, including a book on organic nomenclature and a book on the history of organic chemistry.

Physical location


Interviewee biographical information

  • August 20, 1916
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • June 23, 2019
  • Atherton, California, United States


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1938 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich BS Chemical Engineering
1939 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich Dr. Sci. Tech.

Professional Experience

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich

  • 1939 to 1941 Research Assistant

Vieta Plasencia Lab

  • 1941 to 1945 Director of Research

Syntex Corporation

  • 1945 to 1980 Scientific Director
  • 1949 to 1956 Vice President and Director of Research
  • 1957 to 1980 President and Chairman of the Board
  • 1976 to 1982 Chairman of the Board and CEO

Industria, Ciencia, Tecnologia (ICT)

  • 1996 Founder


Year(s) Award
1949 Mexican Citizenship Award, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the nation
1994 Dr. Leopold Rio de la Loza National Prize of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Cite as

George Rosenkranz, interviewed by James G. Traynham in New York, New York on May 17, 1997. Philadelphia: Science History Institute, n.d. Oral History Transcript 0159. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/ft848s00m.

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PDF — 276 KB

The published version of the transcript may diverge from the interview audio due to edits to the transcript made by staff of the Center for Oral History, often at the request of the interviewee, during the transcript review process.

Complete Interview Audio File Web-quality download

6 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads