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Samuel Jenkins Dead at 81

January 26, 1983
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Dr. Samuel Jenkins, one of the world’s foremost biochemists in the field of water purification, died at his home here last Friday at the age of 81. One of a poor family of 10, he was born in Manchester, and attended evening classes to win a scholarship at Manchester University, where he gained a Bachelor of Science degree with first class honors.

He entered private industry after an appointment as a British government fuel scientist was denied him because his father was not British-born. In 1928, after a year at the Rothamsted experimental station, Harpenden, Jenkins was appointed chief scientist at Birmingham’s drainage board, a post he retained until his retirement 31 years later in 1969.

A Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chemistry, he had already reached the pinnacle of his profession in Britain in 1957 with his election as president of the Institute of Water Pollution Control. Jenkins then played a central role in fostering international talks among scientists from industrialized and developing countries and both sides of the Iron Curtain.

Accompanied by his wife, he travelled tirelessly to many parts of the world, organizing scientific, conferences and advising governments. He also edited two of the leading learned journals on water pollution control.

A strictly observant Jew, Jenkins was also an ardent Zionist, serving for many years as treasurer of the Birmingham Friends of the Hebrew University and the city’s Zionist Council. He took a close interest in environmental questions in Israel where he presided at an international conference on water pollution in 1972.

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