Via Chemical and Engineering News, this sad news (article by Bethany Halford):
David A. Evans, the Abbott and James Lawrence Professor Emeritus in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, died April 29 at the age of 81.
Former students and colleagues remember Evans as a dedicated educator and a creative force in organic synthesis. He is best known for devising a way to use chiral oxazolidinone auxiliaries to control a target molecule’s stereochemistry. “That changed the whole mindset of how people thought about going about building molecules stereoselectively,” says David W. C. MacMillan, a chemistry professor at Princeton University who worked with Evans as a postdoctoral fellow in the late 1990s. Before Evans’s work, chemists used a small number of building blocks known as the chiral pool. “When Dave came along, he upended all of that thinking,” MacMillan says.
As a former total synthesis guy, I can't imagine what organic chemistry in the aughts would have been like without the Evans oxazolidinone. Best wishes to his family and friends.