Friderik Pregl was a chemist and physician. He was born in Ljubljana in 1869 to a Slovenian father and German mother at a time when Slovenia was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Pregl finished high school in Ljubljana but his grades were below average except in physics at which he excelled. After graduation he went to Graz where he studied medicine. He obtained a degree in medicine in 1894. Pregl became an assistant lecturer in physiology and histology and seven years later he got a post at Graz University as a professor. He was given the position of Dean of the Medical Faculty from 1916 to 1917.
His scientific work was in the field of physiology. He studied the constitution of chemical compounds; in particular, the investigation of bile acid. He used his own methods of quantitative micro-analysis. Pregl contributed a number of micro methods for measuring atomic groups and developed a series of apparatus necessary for his work. He published his findings in a monograph with the title Die quantitative Microanalyse, which was also translated into French and English.
He won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry from the Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1923 for modifying and improving existing methods in micro analysis.
Shortly before his death he gave a considerable amount of money to the Vienna Academy of Sciences for the promotion of micro-chemical research. His wish was to use the money as an award for outstanding work of micro-chemists.
Pregl was single, and died after a short illness at the age of 61 at Graz on December 13, 1930.