Born in 1943, Mitchell was educated at Battersea Grammar School in Streatham before moving on to Cambridge, where he obtained his BSc and PhD under the direction of Franz Sondheimer. After a post-doctoral position at the University of Oregon with Virgil Boekelheide, he briefly went back to England to work at Formica before he returned to his beloved West Coast and a post at UVic in 1972.
Mitchell rose rapidly through the ranks, becoming associate professor in 1975 and professor with tenure in 1982. He had a world-wide reputation from his research in the aromaticity of large ring systems which resulted in 160 publications, three books and many invited and plenary lectures. His many successful undergraduate and graduate students, along with his post-doctoral fellows, would attest to his love of research and the attention he paid to it—and to their education and advancement in their chosen field.
(University of Victoria)