Gerhard M. J. Schmidt was born on August 21, 1919, in Berlin. At the age of 16, he and his family emigrated to the UK, where Schmidt obtained his MSc and PhD degrees from Oxford University under the supervision of Robert Robinson (1942) and Dorothy Hodgkin (1948), respectively. In 1948, Schmidt joined the Weizmann Institute of Science and established a research group focused on X-ray crystallography, organic chemistry, and solid-state chemistry. He is particularly known for combining different aspects of crystallography with organic chemistry and photochemistry; in the course of these studies, he coined the terms “topochemistry” and “crystal engineering”. He is considered the founder of X-ray crystallography at the Weizmann Institute, where he also held various senior administrative positions. In the late 1950s, Schmidt and others pioneered scientific collaboration between Israel and Germany, which paved the way for the establishment of formal relations between the two countries in 1965.