Wolcott Gibbs, a charter member of the Academy as well as its president from 1895 to 1900, was a well-known American chemist. Gibbs graduated from Columbia University in 1841 and received his medical doctorate from the same institution in 1845. In 1848 Gibbs accepted a post at the City College of New York. He later served as the Rumford Professor at Harvard University between 1863 and 1887, at which point he retired to his private laboratory. Throughout his scientific and academic career, Gibbs was primarily an inorganic chemist who made contributions to the understanding of complex acids, gas analysis, and the structure of salts and platinum metals.