Carl Donald Keith

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Carl Donald Keith was born in Stewart Creek, West Virginia back in 1920 to Howard and Mary.  After graduating high school, he attended Salem College in North Carolina earning his bachelor’s degree in 1943.  He continued his education earning. Master’s degree in chemistry from Indiana University in 1945 and a doctorate from DePaul University in 1947.

After graduation, he worked at Sinclair Oil from 1943-1957.   He was later hired by Engelhard Industries.  From 1976 until his retirement in 1985 he was an executive vice president, president and finally chairman of the company. In 2001, he received the Walter Ahlstrom Prize in conjunction with the Finnish Academies of Technology.  His invention prevented 56 million tons of hydrocarbons and 118 million tons of nitrogen oxides and 464 billion tons of carbon monoxide from being emitted as pollution in 25 years.  He died in 2008 in Marco Island, Florida.

If you haven’t figured it out by now he invented the three-way catalytic converter for vehicles back in the 1970’s.

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Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Interesting stuff.  It is fun learning who is responsible for inventions. 


Jan 26, 2021 12:58 AM #1
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray 


Jan 26, 2021 01:50 AM #2
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Hmm, I wonder if he were alive today if he would be in the running for the $100 million that Elon Musk has offered up for the best carbon capture technology?

Jan 26, 2021 04:12 AM #3
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - Mr Keith was obviously a very intelligent man with a mind that worked much differently than mine.  I didn't have much of a clue of the reason for his fame until you revealed his invention/discovery.  

Jan 26, 2021 04:38 AM #4
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning James Dray - I remember.  I think 1975  was the year catalytic converters were on cars.

Jan 26, 2021 05:22 AM #5
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

I do remember when they came out and it was a little bit of a bumpy ride at first as many of us shade-tree mechanics removed them until it became illegeale to do so James Dray .

Jan 26, 2021 05:42 AM #6
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Remember well when catalytic canverter was the main topic of conversation for the local mechanics. Enjoy your day.

Jan 26, 2021 05:45 AM #7
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

I remember catalytic converter's being stolen from vehicles in the lot for their precious metals: platinum, rhodium, and cesium, which are in short supply!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Jan 26, 2021 06:06 AM #8
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

You're right, James... I had no clue about the inventor of the catalytic converter and now I do. I remember when they first came on the scene... I'm sure saying that totally dates me now.

Jan 26, 2021 06:16 AM #9
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Good morning James Dray quite a huge lasting effect one man made on the world

Jan 26, 2021 06:23 AM #10
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Wow, we have much to thank him for as far as our planet is concerned.

Jan 26, 2021 06:35 AM #11
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I remember the catalytic converter, and how it was mandatory.  Glad this was around and that we have moved on...A

Jan 26, 2021 07:44 AM #12
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I don't think I can honestly say that was my first guess for what Mr Keith invented James Dray 😃

Jan 26, 2021 07:46 AM #13
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

No doubt this was a truly great invention. It made a difference for the entire world.

Jan 26, 2021 07:49 AM #14
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, James, for sharing this story.

Take care, be safe and have a great day.

Jan 26, 2021 08:10 AM #15
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi James- while I don't understand what a catalytic converter does, I do know that they are being stolen!

Jan 26, 2021 10:22 AM #16
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Well I didn't figure it out and had to wait for you to reveal his invention!!

Jan 26, 2021 07:52 PM #17
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

James if you go on Next Door in my market every day some one is cutting and stealing Catalytic Converters:)Endre

Jan 26, 2021 10:00 PM #18
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear James,

Ohh .... Cool. I love Sinclair Oil as much as such a company can be. Their dinos are just so cute. Looking forward to the day they are converted into charging stations or partial charging stations. In the way out, you will still need hydrocarbons for a while.

Feb 09, 2021 09:19 PM #19
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

The converter changes CO to CO2. The early ones used platinum group materials and was desirable because the thiefs thought PT was expensive.

Feb 13, 2021 12:44 PM #20
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James Dray

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