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Alexander Shulgin, ‘Godfather of Ecstasy’, Dies At Lafayette Home

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Ecstasy pills. (Sean Garnsworthy/Getty Images)

Ecstasy pills. (Sean Garnsworthy/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A respected chemist famed for dusting off a decades-old recipe for the psychedelic drug ecstasy has died.

Alexander Shulgin died Monday at his Northern California home at the age of 88.

His wife, Ann, says liver cancer was the cause. She says he was diagnosed about a year ago.

Ann Shulgin says her husband was surrounded by family and friends when he died at “the farm,” his sprawling residence and lab in a remote part of Lafayette, California, about 22 miles east of San Francisco.

Shulgin created more than 200 hundred chemical compounds for use in psychotherapy, and tested them on himself and his wife. He didn’t invent MDMA, better known as ecstasy, but rediscovered the compound created in 1912 some 65 years later and introduced it as a possible mental health treatment.

A memorial is being planned.

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