Texas A&M University is mourning the loss of professor and inorganic chemist F. Albert Cotton.
University officials say he died Tuesday at the age of 76.
Cotton was director of the university's laboratory for molecular structure and bonding.
The university says Cotton's books sold more than 500,000 copies and were translated into 40 foreign languages.
Cotton earned his doctorate from Harvard and taught at M.I.T. before joining the Texas A&M faculty in 1972.
Among many honors in his life, Cotton won the international Wolf Prize in 2000 for his work in metallic elements.
Defense Secretary and former Texas A&M President Robert Gates called Cotton a "legendary figure at Texas A&M."
Cotton is survived by his wife, Diane, and two daughters.