Mario J. Molina

Inside Biography


Mario J. Molina is a Mexican chemist, known for studying the effects of man-made compounds on the atmosphere and also for pioneering the theory of CFC and ozone depletion. Also, he is known for playing a crucial role in the discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole.

In  1995, Mario J. Molina won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work.

Early Life and Education

Chemist Mario J. Molina was born on March 19, 1943, to a lawyer and a judge, Roberto Molina-Pasquel and Leonor Henríquez in Mexico City. As far as his nationality is concerned he is Mexican and is of Caucasian ethnicity.

Ever since his childhood, he was very much interested playing with toy microscopes and chemistry sets and was close to his paternal aunt named Esther Molina who was also a chemist.

Mario J. Molina completed his regular studies at the Institut auf dem Rosenberg  located in Switzerland and received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 1965.

After two years he received his postgraduate degree at the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg, West Germany, and a Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley in 1972.

Career and Awards

Molina actual career started in 1974 after he co-authored a paper in the journal Nature, highlighting the threat of CFCs to the ozone layer in the stratosphere.

Molina and his co-author, Rowland investigated the compounds which were similar to CFCs and they established the CFC ozone depletion theory.

In their development, they discovered that chlorine atoms, produced by the decomposition of CFCs, catalytically was destroying ozone.

In the same year, they not only discovered that facts about chlorine atoms but also announced their findings outside of the E-scientific community, informing policymakers and the news media of their work.

Starting from the year 1974, Mario J. Molina held numbers of research and teaching posts at University of California, Irvine, the Ma s sachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech and also joined the Department of Earth Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences and the Department of Chemistry.

Mario J. Molina has received several awards and honors. For his contribution to a phenomenal issue, he was awarded Nobel Prize that he shared with his fellow workers Paul J. Crutzen and F. Sherwood Rowland for their achievement on discovering CFCs in ozone depletion.

Also, he won several awards like Esselen Award of the Northeast section of the American Chemical Society, NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Advancement, and United Nations Environmental Programme Global 500 Award. He also received the 1998 Willard Gibbs Award from the Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society and American Chemical Society Prize for Creative Advances in Environment Technology and Science 1998.

Also, in 2013, he was announced as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the former President, Barack Obama.

Net worth

Mario J. Molina probably has the net worth of millions of dollars as he has gained several awards and recognition for his work. However, the official information about his net worth is yet to come.  

According to the University of California Berkeley, an experienced professor's earnings range from $95,000-$217,317.

Also in the 1990’s, he was awarded Noble Prize which was worth 2.6 million, SEK and Pew Charitable Trusts Scholars Program in Conservation and the Environment awarded him with a $150,000 grant.

Personal life

In the July 1973, Molina got married to a chemist, Luisa Y. Tan and the couple moved to Irvine, California. They also share a son, Felipe, together.

Their relationship, however, didn’t last for long, and they got divorced. Later in 2006, Mario J. Molina got married to Guadalupe Álvarez, and the couple is together since then.

by indu, 30 Jan, 2018

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