1. Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, known as the “Godfather of Ecstasy,” died at the age of 88 on Monday.
Shulgin has been credited with introducing the world to many psychedelic drugs, including his most famous synthesization, 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDMA), also known as Ecstasy.
MDMA was patented in 1912, but the drug was never tested on humans until Shulgin tested it on himself.
He was tipped off on the potential of MDMA by a report from a graduate student at San Francisco State University in 1976. From there, he tested the drug at his home laboratory on himself and friends. Shulgin told the New York Times in 2005 that he’s had more than 4,000 experiences with psychedelic drugs, the majority of which he created himself.
MDMA has been researched and shows possible signs of being able to help people recover from serious trauma and ease fears and anxiety in cancer patients.
2. His wife Ann announced the death on Facebook, noting his passing was graceful and with little struggle.
Shulgin suffered from various medical conditions over the past years, including terminal liver cancer, which was announced early this year. His final years were lived out at his home in northern California.