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Felix Hoffmann Biography! Why Did He Discover Penicillin?

Felix Hoffmann was a German chemist born on January 21, 1868, in Ludwigsburg, Germany. He was the second of three sons born to a master baker, Carl Hoffmann.

After completing his primary and secondary education, he studied at the University of Munich, where he received a degree in pharmacy in 1890.

Hoffmann started working for Friedrich Bayer & Co., a pharmaceutical company in Wuppertal, Germany, in 1894. During his tenure at the company, he discovered acetylsalicylic acid, commonly known as aspirin.

Hoffmann synthesized the drug in 1897 and obtained a patent for it the following year. Aspirin became a global sensation, and it remains one of the most widely used drugs to this day.

Hoffmann continued to work for Bayer for the rest of his life, eventually becoming the head of the pharmacology department. He died on February 8, 1946, in Switzerland, at the age of 78.

Early Life

Felix Hoffmann was born into a middle-class family in the town of Ludwigsburg in southwestern Germany. His father was a master baker, and his mother was a homemaker.

Hoffmann attended a local school, where he excelled in the natural sciences. After completing his primary education, he enrolled at the University of Munich to study pharmacy.

While at the university, Hoffmann was taught by some of the most prominent chemists of the time, including Adolf von Baeyer and Johannes Wislicenus.

He received his degree in pharmacy in 1890 and went on to work for several different pharmaceutical companies before settling at Bayer.

Felix Hoffmann Biography

Felix Hoffmann Career

In 1894, he became a research chemist at Bayer. Hoffmann made acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) on August 10, 1897, while he was working at Bayer for Arthur Eichengrün.

By putting salicylic acid and acetic acid together, he was able to make ASA in a pure and stable chemical form.

Why Did Alexander Fleming Discover Penicillin?

Alexander Fleming was a Scottish bacteriologist who was born on August 6, 1881, in Lochfield, Scotland. He is best known for his discovery of penicillin, the first antibiotic to be widely used in modern medicine.

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Fleming was working at St. Mary’s Hospital in London in 1928 when he discovered penicillin. At the time, he was studying staphylococcal bacteria, which can cause serious infections such as pneumonia and meningitis.

Fleming had a petri dish of the bacteria that had been contaminated with a fungus, which he identified as Penicillium notatum.

He noticed that the bacteria surrounding the fungus had died, while the bacteria further away from the fungus were still alive.

Fleming realized that the fungus was producing a substance that was killing the bacteria. He called this substance penicillin and began to study its properties.

However, it was not until 1940 that a team of scientists at Oxford University, led by Howard Florey and Ernst Chain, were able to isolate and purify penicillin and demonstrate its effectiveness in treating bacterial infections.

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The discovery of penicillin revolutionized medicine and has saved countless lives over the past century.

Alexander Fleming was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 for his discovery, sharing the prize with Howard Florey and Ernst Chain.


Felix Hoffmann was a German chemist who is best known for his discovery of aspirin. Alexander Fleming was a Scottish bacteriologist who discovered penicillin, the first antibiotic.

Both of these discoveries have had a significant impact on medicine and continue to be used to this day.

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