Bryce L. Crawford was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1914. He grew up mainly in the San Francisco bay area. He received his A.B. in 1934; his A.M. in 1935; and his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1937, all from Stanford University. Following his graduation, he spent two years at Harvard University as a National Research Fellow. He then spent one year at Yale University as a chemistry teacher.
In 1940, he moved to the University of Minnesota, where he became a full professor of physical chemistry in 1946. During World War II, he used his own labs at the University of Minnesota to research rocket propellants, which became an important contribution to rocketry and the development of solid propellants which fueled larger rockets after the war. In 1950-51, he was a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fulbright Fellow, which allowed him to work at the California Institute of Technology and at Oxford University. Returning to the University of Minnesota, he served as Chair of the Chemistry Department from 1955 to 1960. He became dean of the graduate school in 1960, a position he held until 1972. He remained there until 1985 when he retired.
His work as Home Secretary for the National Academy of Sciences and chairmanship of the NAS report review committee were among his most proud accomplishments. He was also a member of the American Chemical Society, on whose board he served from 1969 to 1972, and chaired the ACS committee on American chemical abstracts.
He was the 1982 recipient of the Priestley Medal, OSA’s 1978 Ellis R. Lippincott Award, and was an OSA Fellow.
Crawford passed away in 2011.