Albert Hofmann, father of the mind-altering drug LSD whose medical discovery grew into a notorious "problem child," died Tuesday. He was 102.
Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann, in 1998, long maintained that LSD had many medical uses.
Hofmann died of a heart attack at his home in Basel, Switzerland, according to Rick Doblin, president of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, in a statement posted on the association's Web site.
Hofmann's hallucinogen inspired -- and arguably corrupted -- millions in the 1960's hippie generation. For decades after LSD was banned in the late 1960s, Hofmann defended his invention.
"I produced the substance as a medicine. ... It's not my fault if people abused it," he said.
The Swiss chemist discovered lysergic acid diethylamide-25 in 1938 while studying the medicinal uses of a fungus found on wheat and other grains at the Sandoz pharmaceuticals firm in Basel.
He became the first human guinea pig of the drug when a tiny amount of the substance seeped onto his finger during a repeat of the laboratory experiment April 16, 1943.
"I had to leave work for home because I was suddenly hit by a sudden feeling of unease and mild dizziness," he wrote in a memo to company bosses.
"Everything I saw was distorted as in a warped mirror," he said, describing his bicycle ride home. "I had the impression I was rooted to the spot. But my assistant told me we were actually going very fast."