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Joseph William Kennedy (May 30, 1916May 5, 1957) was an Americanmarker scientist credited with being a co-discoverer of plutonium along with Glenn T. Seaborg, Edwin McMillan, and Arthur Wahl.

Born in Nacogdoches, Texasmarker, Kennedy attended Stephen F.marker Austin State Teachers Collegemarker, the University of Kansasmarker, and received his PhD at the University of California, Berkeleymarker. In 1943, he arrived at the Los Alamos National Laboratorymarker, and aided in the discovery, purification, and handling of plutonium.

In 1945, Kennedy was recruited as a professor at Washington University in St. Louismarker, and was installed as Chairman of the Department of Chemistry, a role he continued in until his death. Kennedy brought with him Wahl, Lindsay Helmholz, David Lipkin, Herbert Potratz, and Samuel Weissman, who all served on the faculty at Washington University.

Kennedy died at the age of 41 after a battle with cancer, only two years after Seaborg, McMillan, Wahl, and he received a prize of $400,000 dollars for their scientific work.

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