Born in Vienna, Afred Bader fled to England at the age of 14 just before the outbreak of World War II, where he was interned as an enemy alien and sent to a Canadian prisoner of war camp. On his release in 1941 he read engineering chemistry at Queen's University, Ontario, and was subsequently a fellow in Organic Chemistry at Harvard. In 1951 he founded Aldrich, which became, as Sigma-Aldrich, one of the world's largest suppliers of research chemicals. After being ousted from the company in a boardroom coup he turned his attention to Old Master paintings, becoming a leading collector and dealer. Alfred and his family have become well known as generous benefactors in many diverse fields and his personal philanthropy has been directed towards helping students and teachers of chemistry and art history.