The Board and staff at the NWHF are saddened to announce that 2011 Inductee Helen Murry Free has passed away at the age of 98.
She was a pioneering chemist who worked alongside her husband to revolutionize diagnostic testing in the laboratory and at home. Together, the Frees became lifelong scientific partners and changed the face of medical diagnostics. Some of their early work centered around the improvement of the Clinitest, a tablet that measured glucose levels in the urine of diabetic patients. They went on to develop the Acetest, another tablet test for diabetes. Their research culminated in the development of Clinistix, the first dip-and-read diagnostic test strips for monitoring glucose in urine.
Following her retirement, she became an active promoter of science education. She devoted special attention to educating both female and underprivileged students through such programs as “Kids and Chemistry” and “Expanding Your Horizons.” She personally gave hundreds of children tours through the Miles/Bayer facilities.
Helen Murry Free saved and extended countless lives all around the world. She has inspired and impacted many lives through her work and advocacy. She will be missed. The National Women’s Hall of Fame is honored to celebrate her life, work, and accomplishments, which will inspire generations, both now and in the future.