Former executive director of The Hormel Institute named “Pillar of the City”

(ABC 6 News) – A former executive of The Hormel Institute was selected as one of Austin’s “Pillars of the City” at a ceremony on Tuesday night.

Dr. Ralph T. Holman, was a world-recognized biochemist and considered the pioneer researcher of Omega-3, an essential fatty acid.

Dr. Holman, a native Minnesotan, joined The Hormel Institute in 1951 and served as executive director from 1975-1985. The Hormel Institute was the world leader in lipid research because of his groundbreaking research in essential fatty acids.

Dr. Holman became a member of the invitation-only National Academy of Science in recognition of his distinguished achievements in original research. Membership is a widely accepted mark of excellence in science and is considered one of the highest honors a scientist can receive.

Dr. Holman was recruited from Texas A&M University as an established scientist with international experience. His graduate studies were at the University of Minnesota with Dr. George O. Burr, the discoverer of essential fatty acids. Dr. Holman later studied with Nobel Laureate Arne Tiselius in Sweden.

Dr. Holman passed away in 2012 at the age of 94.

The pillars, which are located near Mill Pond on North Main Street in Austin, recognize people in Austin’s past and present, who have made significant contributions to improving the quality of life in Austin related to growth, economic impact, health, education, culture, recreation, communications, business or scientific innovation.