Martin Heinrich Klaproth (1 December 1743 – 1 January 1817) was a German chemist who discovered uranium (1789), zirconium (1789), and cerium (1803).
Klaproth was born in Wernigerode
. During a large portion of his life he followed the profession of an apothecary
. After acting as assistant in pharmacies at Quedlinburg
, Berlin and Danzig
successively he came to Berlin on the death of Valentin Rose the Elder
in 1771 as manager of his business, and in 1780 he started an establishment on his own account in the same city, where from 1782 he was pharmaceutical assessor of the Ober-Collegium Medicum. In 1787 he was appointed lecturer in chemistry
to the Prussia
n Royal Artillery, and when the university
was founded in 1810 he was selected to be the professor of chemistry. He died in Berlin on New Year's Day in 1817. Klaproth was the leading chemist of his time in Germany.