Richard Hallenbeck Eastman is remembered as a dedicated educator and scientist, as well as an avid boater and fisherman. Much of his research during nearly 40-year Stanford career focused in terpene chemistry and photochemistry. He for many years supervised and taught Stanford's undergraduate introductory chemistry course. He authored two textbooks in the subject: General Chemistry - Experiment and Theory (1968) and Essentials of Modern Chemistry (1975). In addition, he taught graduate courses in terpene chemistry and physical organic chemistry.
Professor Eastman was born in Erie, Pennsylvania in October 1918. He studied chemistry at Princeton (AB 1941; MS 1943) before pursuing graduate and postdoctoral studies in chemistry at Harvard (PhD 1944), as the first graduate student of Nobel laureate Robert B. Woodward. He joined the Stanford Department of Chemistry in 1946, first as an instructor, rising to Assistant Professor in 1948, Associate Professor in 1951 and full Professor in 1959. He became emeritus in 1983.