George Rieveschl

From Ohio History Central

In January 1916, George Rieveschl was born in Arlington Heights, Ohio. The son of a paper mill worker, Rieveschl graduated from the Ohio Mechanics Institute of Technology in 1933, and he sought employment as a commercial artist. Unfortunately for Rieveschl, the Great Depression currently gripped the United States, and he could not find work in his chosen profession. He assisted his family by working at their restaurant, but Rieveschl eventually decided to enroll in the University of Cincinnati, where he majored in chemistry. Upon graduating in 1937, Rieveschl entered graduate school at the University of Cincinnati. He earned his doctorate degree in 1940, and he proceeded to accept a teaching position at the University of Cincinnati.

Within two years of joining the faculty at the University of Cincinnati, Rieveschl had become an assistant professor. He embarked upon numerous research experiments, but his primary focus was on relieving muscle spasms. His research resulted in the discovery of Benadryl, an antihistamine used for allergy sufferers. Benadryl reduces the amount of Histamine in the human body, a chemical that causes allergy symptoms. Approved in 1946, Benadryl, at first, was available only through prescription.

In 1943, Rieveschl left the University of Cincinnati for a position with Parke, Davis & Company in Detroit, Michigan. He rose through the company's ranks, becoming vice president of commercial development in 1961. In 1965, Rieveschl left Parke-Davis. He spent the next several years as a private consultant for various pharmaceutical firms. He returned to the University of Cincinnati in 1970, accepting a position as vice president of research. While at the University of Cincinnati, Rieveschl also served as acting vice president of the university's medical center. He retired from the University of Cincinnati in 1982.

Over the course of his career, Rieveschl received numerous honors and awards, including the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce's Great Living Cincinnatian Award and induction into the International Science and Engineering Hall of Fame. The University of Cincinnati also named a building in his honor. As of 2006, Rieveschl resided in Covington, Kentucky.

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