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Maker of oral birth control pill dies at 91

Carl Djerassi, the renowned chemist who six decades ago created the key ingredient for oral contraceptives, has died at the age of 91.

The scientist, known as the father of the pill, was instrumental in the creation of the drug, which is the preferred method of contraception for more than 100 million women worldwide.

In October 1951, when Djerassi was just 28, he led a team that manufactured an orally administrable form of the hormone progesterone that was a breakthrough in the manufacture of oral contraceptives.

The tablet form of the drug took 11 years to produce, heralding a sexual revolution which gave women greater control over their reproduction.

Djerassi, a Viennese-born scientist, was also a notable playwright, novelist and poet.