Cosmetic Chemist and SCC Past President Graham Barker Passes Away at 90

Veteran cosmetic chemist and past president of the Society of Cosmetic Chemist, Graham Barker, past away yesterday, Oct. 6, 2011, at the age of 90.

Graham was a graduate of City College of New York, where he earned his bachelor's of science degree in chemistry. He also obtained his master's degree in chemistry from Brooklyn College. After a long and distinguished career in the chemical industry, Barker began a consultant company known as Granum Inc. in Fair Lawn, N.J., USA .

According to friend Paul Thau, Barker was known for stimulating ideas. "At a number of companies, he always had an open door," noted Thau. To that end, Barker held a number of personal care patents including: Antiplaque mouthwash concentrate (1993), Personal care emulsion (1985) Process for the preparation of synthetic detergent bars, and products produced thereby (1982), Conditioning shampoo (1981) Waterproof makeup and method of preparing same (1979) Composition for treating fabrics, method for making and using the same (1978), and  Water-oil emulsions and method of preparing same (1978).

Barker was known member in the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, for which he served as president, director and chairman of the board. He worked for Witco Chemical Corp., serving roles such as manager of the special products division. Barker contributed to a number of books, including Surfactants in Cosmetics, for which he wrote chapter 9, titled "Surfactants in Shampoos."

Ken Klein said the following about his friend and mentor, "I first met Graham Barker in 1973. It really does seem like only yesterday. I was working for JB Williams as a bench chemist formulating haircare products and wanted to learn how to formulate emulsion products. A course in emulsion technology was being offered at Seton Hall University. I registered for this course and the instructor was Graham. Sitting in the classroom and listening to him was a joy. He not only had vast knowledge of the chemistry of emulsions/emulsifiers, but he had a love for teaching and imparting his enthusiasm to the students. With each class, I learned what it meant to be a good formulator. Graham set the standard for teaching and knowledge that many of us could only hope to emulate. He taught that unless you really understood the chemistry of the materials, you could never be a good cosmetic chemist. Graham was my friend as well as mentor for many years and he will be sorely missed. While many people only knew of his technical prowess, those of us lucky enough to get to know him outside of the cosmetic "business” knew a person who had a kind heart. Graham was a good person."

In addition to his role in cosmetic chemistry, Barker was an Army Veteran of World War II from 1942-1946 and served in the Pacific Theatre of Operations.

Services will be 11:30 AM on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011, at Louis Suburban Chapel in Fair Lawn, N.J., USA. Burial will follow at Beth El Cemetery in Paramus, N.J., USA. Memorial donations in memory of Graham Barker may be made to Jewish Association for Developmental Disabilities or Fair Lawn Jewish Center.


Barker is survived by his wife Muriel (Neider) Barker; his daughter Susan L. Barker; his son and daugher-in-law Mitchell and Amelia Barker; his brother and sister-in law Irving and Florence Barker; his sister-in-law Madelaine Barker (wife of his late brother Robert Barker), and his grandchildren Joshua, Theodore, Hannah and Danielle.

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