John E. Franz
Born December 21, 1929
N-phosphonomethyl-Glycine Phytotoxicant Compositions
Patent #: 3,799,758
In 1970, chemist John Franz discovered the glyphosate class of herbicides.
The broad-spectrum, post-emergence, glyphosate-containing herbicide Roundup®
eliminates over 125 kinds of annual and perennial weeds. It is not active in
soil and is readily metabolized to innocuous products.
Glyphosate inhibits a key enzyme found primarily in plants, having no effect on mammals, birds, fish, or insects. Roundup® allows farmers to control weeds with minimal tillage, conserving topsoil, time, and fuel.
Franz was born in Springfield, Illinois. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Illinois and the University of Minnesota. He commenced work at Monsanto Company in 1955 and retired in 1991. Franz was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 1987 and the Perkin Medal in 1990. He holds over 840 U.S. and foreign patents.