Michael Cefola was an American chemist and a research associate at the University of Chicago’s Metallurgical Laboratory (“Met Lab”) during the Manhattan Project.
Cefola was born in Barile, Italy, and immigrated to the US as a child in 1918. He graduated from the City College of New York, and later received his PhD in chemistry from New York University.
Glenn Seaborg, the director of the Met Lab, recruited Cefola to the Manhattan Project in Chicago. In 1942, Cefola was one of three members of Seaborg’s team to help isolate the first visible amount of pure plutonium.
After World War II, he worked as a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Radiation Laboratory. In 1950, he became a professor at Fordham University.
At the age of seventy-four years old, Michael Cefola died on February 12, 1983 in Scarsdale, New York.
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