George W. Merck


George W. Merck

George W. Merck (1894 - 1957), the son of George Merck, was an American scientist and president of Merck & Co..

Biography

Raised in Llewellyn Park, New Jersey, he attended Harvard College, graduating in 1915. World War I prevented him from pursuing an advanced degree in Germany; instead, he joined his father at the company. He was made president of the company in 1925, shortly before his father's death. During the interwar years, he oversaw Merck's involvement in the development of synthetic vitamins, sulfas, antibiotics, and hormones. During World War II, he led the secret American research program in biological warfare at Fort Detrick, and helped insure continuation of such research into the Cold War era. Merck was on the cover of "Time" magazine on August 18, 1952, illustrating a story about the American drug industry.


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