Francis William Bergstrom is remembered as a an inspiring and kind teacher and skilled experimentalist, with an energetic research program looking into the chemistry of organic and inorganic nitrogen compounds. In addition to performing his own studies and teaching organic chemistry at Stanford, Professor Bergstrom led important investigations into antimalarial drugs for the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development.
Born in Indiana, January 10, 1897, the young Francis Bergstrom first came to Stanford University when his father joined the faculty as Professor of Educational Psychology in 1908. He became a Stanford student in 1914, studying chemistry and engineering (BA 1918). He continued on to doctoral study (Engineer in ChemE 1919, PhD 1922) under Professor E. C. Franklin. After three years of postdoctoral work elsewhere, Bergstrom returned to Stanford as Chemistry Instructor, moving to Assistant and Associate Professor and, in 1942, full Professor of Chemistry.