Albert Hofmann was a chemist who worked for Sandoz, he is the discoverer of LSD (isolated from ergot), and the first person to synthesize psilocybin and psilocin. His short book LSD: My Problem Child is well worth a read.
You can find an extended profile on Hofmann on his Wikipedia page.
The work done by Hofmann served as an inspiration for almost everyone in the psychedelics field. His spiritual/chemical successors/reflections can be seen in the work of David E. Nichols and Sascha Shulgin.
Here are just a few ‘fun’ facts:
- After accidentally dosing himself with LSD in his lab, he did it on purpose on 19 April 1943 (250mg), this day is forever known as bicycle day
- He called LSD his problem child, because all of his other discovered drugs didn’t find wide use outside the lab (and in the counter culture)
- Hofmann met Timothy Leary twice but didn’t share his vision/perspective
- He lived to the age of 102
- Sometimes/often gets misspelled as Hoffman or Hoffmann
- Albert Hofmann, the Father of LSD, Dies at 102 (New York Times, April 2008)