Rosalind Franklin (July 25, 1920 – April 16, 1958) was an English chemist and X-ray crystallographer who made contributions to the understanding of the molecular structures of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), RNA (ribonucleic acid), viruses, coal and graphite. Although her works on coal and viruses were appreciated in her lifetime, her contributions to the discovery of DNA were largely recognized posthumously. Franklin’s work on the X-ray diffraction images of DNA led to the discovery of the DNA double helix for which James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962. Watson suggested that Franklin would have ideally been awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, but the Nobel Committee does not make posthumous nominations. Franklin died in 1958 at the age of 37 of ovarian cancer.