Inventor of LSD Dies at 102

May 01, 2008 02:30 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Albert Hofmann, the chemist who synthesized the hallucinogenic drug LSD in 1938, died of a heart attack Tuesday at his home in Basel, Switzerland.

30-Second Summary

Hofmann died of a heart attack at his home in Basel, Switzerland, reports The BBC. He is survived by two of his four children.

In 1938 the Swiss chemist created LSD, or lysergic acid diethylamide, while studying the medicinal uses of a crop fungus. He accidentally took in the drug when a small amount of it leaked onto his hand while he was working.

“In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight too unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense kaleidoscopic play of colours,” Hofmann said about his first acid trip, according to Vancouver online publication Straight. Hofmann later said that the trip was similar to a mystical experience he had had as a boy in Baden, according to a New York Times profile in 2006.

Hofmann often referred to LSD as his “problem child,” but also called it “medicine for the soul,” believing it could help reconnect people to the universe.

He remained convinced of the drug’s potential as a treatment for mental illness and was frustrated by its worldwide prohibition and its abuse by youth in the 1960s.

Headline Link: LSD inventor Albert Hofmann, 102

Background: 1984 interview with Hofmann, LSD symposium, profile at age 100

Related Topics: First acid trip, CIA project

Video: LSD chemist dies, aged 102


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