Papers of William David McElroy (1917-1999), professor of biochemistry, the fourth chancellor (1972-1980) of the University
of California, San Diego; and former director (1969-1971) of the National Science Foundation. McElroy's significant contributions
to biology include isolating and crystallizing the compounds that enable firefly luminescence and for his subsequent research
into bacterial bioluminescence. He also wrote, spoke, and worked on problems in areas of environment, pollution, food production,
science education, and international science. The papers largely document McElroy's scientific research and include correspondence
with the scientific community, various biographical materials including awards and photographs, writings and reprints related
to biochemical and scientific investigation, research materials on bioluminescene, UCSD teaching materials, and speeches given
both as chancellor and as director of the National Science Foundation. Also included are drafts of an unpublished manuscript
entitled "Fireflys in Folklore and Fantasy," written by E. Newton Harvey. The papers are arranged in seven series: 1) BIOGRAPHICAL
MATERIALS, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) WRITINGS, 4) RESEARCH MATERIALS, 5) TEACHING MATERIALS, 6) SPEECHES AND LECTURES, and 7)
ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.
William "Bill" McElroy was born in Rogers, Texas, in 1917. He received a bachelor's degree from Stanford University in 1939,
where he played football from 1938-1939. He obtained a master's degree from Reed College in Oregon in 1941 and a doctorate
from Princeton University in 1943 both in biology, but it was at Princeton where McElroy first investigated bioluminescence
under the mentorship of E. Newton Harvey. McElroy received 12 honorary degrees including those from University of Notre Dame,
Johns Hopkins University, the University of San Diego, and the University of Bologna in Italy.