Scott E. Denmark was born in Lynbrook, New York on 17 June 1953. He obtained an S. B. degree from M.I.T. in 1975 performing research with both Richard H. Holm (ferredoxin analogs) and Daniel S. Kemp (functionalized cyclophanes). His graduate studies were carried out at the ETH-Zürich under the direction of Professor Albert Eschenmoser culminating in a D. Sc. Tech. degree in 1980 (“On the Stereochemistry of the S N’ Reaction”). That same year he began his independent career as assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was promoted to associate professor in 1986, full professor in 1987 and then in 1991 was named the Reynold C. Fuson Professor of Chemistry.