Mullis, Kary

Quirky, freethinking scientist and surfer from La Jolla, California; winner of a 1993 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Mullis was born (1944) and raised in South Carolina, and received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from U.C. Berkeley in 1972.

He began surfing in 1990; three years later, after taking a six A.M. phone call from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announcing that he'd won a Nobel for his work in gene replication, Mullis left his La Jolla apartment and went straight to nearby Tourmaline Be...