Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin, the pharmacologist best known for introducing MDMA, Ecstasy’s purest form, has died at the age of 88 after battling liver cancer.
During his lengthy career, the author, pharmacologist and medical chemist sampled and synthesized over 200 psychedelic drugs. He created a new synthesis process for MDMA in 1976, passing the drug to his therapist pal Leo Zeff. Zeff began using the drug during sessions with his clients, reports the Independent UK.
Formerly a chemist for The Dow Chemical Company, he left the company in 1965 to begin doing his own research in his Berkley, California, home.
In a Vice magazine interview in 2010, Hamilton Morris described Shulgin as “the grandfather of Ecstasy.” Morris met with Shulgin and his wife, chemical researcher Ann Shulgin, at their San Francisco home. “Pretty much every psychedelic drug known came from this house,” Morris said.
Shulgin published TiHkal (Tryptamines I Have Known And Loved) and PiHKAL (Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved) with his wife.
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The Erowid Center says Shulgin “died peacefully surrounded by family and friends."