John Goodenough, oldest Nobel laureate, Li-ion battery pioneer, passes away

Goodenough was 100 years old; awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2019

John B. Goodenough (File) John B. Goodenough | Reuters

World's oldest Nobel laureate and co-inventor of Lithium-ion batteries John B. Goodenough died on Sunday, a month short of his 101st birthday.

“The American was a leader at the cutting edge of scientific research throughout the many decades of his career," said Jay Hartzell, President of the University of Texas at Austin. Goodenough was a faculty member at the University for 37 years. “Goodenough was a dedicated public servant, a sought-after mentor and a brilliant yet humble inventor,” the University said in a statement. 

Goodenough was 97 when he received the 2019 Nobel Prize for Chemistry - along with Britain's Stanley Whittingham and Japan's Akira Yoshino, for their respective research into lithium-ion

batteries - making him the oldest recipient of a Nobel Prize, Reuters reported.

Born in Germany in 1922 to American parents, Goodenough served in the US army as a meteorologist. Goodenough graduated in mathematics from Yale University and did PhD in physics from the University of Chicago. 

"This rechargeable battery laid the foundation of wireless electronics such as mobile phones and laptops," Reuters reported quoting the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Goodenough was a researcher and team leader at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later headed the inorganic chemistry lab at the University of Oxford, Reuters reported.