John E. Franz
(December 21, 1929—)
(Photo credit: Courtesy of John Franz)
In 1970, research chemist John Franz discovered the
glyphosate class of herbicides while searching for a systemic
product that would be effective against perennial and annual
weeds. Marketed under the brand name Roundup®, glyphosate
eliminates more than 125 kinds of weeds and is nontoxic to
animals. Glyphosate is among the most widely used herbicides in
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.
Leroy E. Hood
John Joseph Lynott