Kitty Hach-Darrow, entrepreneur and philanthropist, dies at 97

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2020 — Kathryn C. “Kitty” Hach-Darrow, a philanthropist who co-founded Hach Chemical Co., died on June 4 in Loveland, Colorado. She was 97.

“The American Chemical Society mourns the passing of Kitty Hach-Darrow, a true pioneer in entrepreneurship and a dear friend to our Society,” says ACS CEO Thomas Connelly Jr., Ph.D.

In 2009, Hach-Darrow donated $34 million in assets from her family’s Hach Scientific Foundation to ACS to endow the ACS-Hach Programs, which provide scholarships and grants to new and veteran chemistry teachers. In recognition of this gift — the largest in ACS history — the Society’s Washington, D.C., headquarters was renamed the Clifford & Kathryn Hach Building.

In the 1940s, the husband-and-wife team of Clifford and Kitty Hach launched Hach Chemical, which became an innovator in water-testing reagents and instruments. While Clifford, a chemist, oversaw the company’s research and development, Kitty ran the business operations, piloting a small plane around the country to visit customers and attend trade shows. The pair raised three children, Bruce, Mary and Paul, who were involved with the family business.

Following on the company’s success, the couple started the Hach Scientific Foundation in 1982 to promote chemistry education by providing scholarships. After Clifford’s death in 1990, Kitty married Donald Darrow and later sold the company to Danaher.

In 2012, Hach-Darrow funded a new ACS award, the Kathryn C. Hach Award for Entrepreneurial Success, to recognize outstanding entrepreneurs who have created a commercially viable business within the chemical enterprise.

These programs continue to honor the legacy of Hach-Darrow, “who was, by all accounts, an amazing, generous, warm and witty woman,” says Madeleine Jacobs, who was ACS executive director and CEO from 2004 to 2014. “She was truly one of a kind and will be greatly missed.”

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS’ mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people. The Society is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple research solutions, peer-reviewed journals, scientific conferences, eBooks and weekly news periodical Chemical & Engineering News. ACS journals are among the most cited, most trusted and most read within the scientific literature; however, ACS itself does not conduct chemical research. As a specialist in scientific information solutions (including SciFinder® and STN®), its CAS division powers global research, discovery and innovation. ACS’ main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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