This man is my professor's favorite scientist. Simply because he was so prolific, my professor says.
He was the only person to have won two unshared Nobel Prizes: a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954 and one for his Peace in 1962. He was the founder of molecular biology, wrote the introductory General Chemistry textbook translated into 13 languages, and protested atmospheric nuclear testing in front of the White House and dined with the Kennedys that same night.
Pauling made major contributions to countless academic fields, including quantum mechanics, biochemistry, mineralogy, immunology, psychiatry, medicine, genetics, epidemiology, and much more, according to Oregon State University's website.
An interesting part of his story is that, if the US State Department hadn't withheld his passport on suspicions of Communist sympathies, he might have been able to travel to England to see Rosalind Franklin's x-ray crystallography images firsthand and beat Watson and Crick to discovering the structure of DNA (and maybe have gotten three, instead of two, Nobel prizes).
Like all accomplished people, he was not without his kooks. He believed in a form of alternative or pseudo-medicine called megavitamin therapy, reminding me of Steve Jobs' fruit-arian diet. Regardless, his investigative abilities and activism with his wife certainly is deserving of being considered a conscientious and esteemed scientist.