In 1967, he proposed a model to predict the stereochemical outcome of the addition of nucleophiles to carbonylic compounds. This model (now known as the Felkin-Anh model) differs slightly from the Cram's rule and it's one of the most accepted rules to predict the outcome of these reactions.
Born in England on the 18th January 1922, he spent the second world war years in Switzerland studying chemistry. At that time the requirements for a degree were "to show sufficient knowledge in chemistry".
After completing his studies, he went to France to work for the CNRS. In France he met Irene, born Elphimoff, also a research chemist, who became his wife. They had one daughter, Mary, born in 1962.
He was a member of the communist party until the communist coup in Prague in 1948. After this disapointment, his sympathies still firmly inclined towards the left, he read "Le Monde" without which he used to say he didn't know what to think. "Je suis anti-sioniste mais je n'arrive pas a etre pro-arabe" was another of his usual sayings.
Hugh Felkin was a quiet and friendly man, who could become icily sarcastic when roused. He enjoyed travelling, good food, and good whisky in moderation.