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Karl Landsteiner

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Karl Landsteiner

Karl Landsteiner (June 14 1868 - June 26 1943), was an Austrian biologist and physician.

He was born in Vienna, Austria to Leopold Landsteiner, a journalist and newspaper editor who was also a doctor of law. His father died when Karl was six, and he was raised by his mother, Fanny Hess. He earned a medical degree at the University of Vienna in 1891, and was also well-grounded in chemistry, having studied under Emil Fisher and others.

In 1908 he became professor of pathology at the University of Vienna. In 1916 he married Helen Wlasto, and the couple had one son. Following World War I, he left for Holland. In 1922 he joined the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York, and he remained there for the remainder of his life (even following his retirement in 1939.) During this period he became an American citizen. Karl Landsteiner died of a heart attack while still working at his laboratory.

He is noted for his development in 1909 of the modern system of classification of blood groups, and in 1930 he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. With A. S. Weiner, he identified the Rh factor in 1940.

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