Roald Hoffmann (born July 18, 1937) is a theoretical chemist.
He was born in Zloczow, Poland and named in honor of the Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen. His family immigrated to the United States of America in 1949, where he attended Stuyvesant High School, graduating in 1955. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree at Columbia University (Columbia College) in 1958, and his Master of Arts degree in 1960 and his Doctor of Philosophy degree (working under the subsequent 1976 chemistry Nobel Prize winner William N. Lipscomb, Jr) in 1962, both from Harvard University.
He also developed, with R. B. Woodward, rules for elucidating reaction mechanisms.
He is also a writer of poetry published in two collections, "The Metamict State" (1987) and "Gaps and Verges" (1990), and of books explaining chemistry to the general public. Also, he wrote a play called "O2 Oxygen" about the discovery of Oxygen, but also about what it means to be a scientist and the importance of process of discovery in science.