Professor Andrzej Waksmundzki, the son of a farmer, was born on October 3rd, 1910, in the hamlet of Waksmund in the Tatra Mountains region. In 1930, on completing his secondary education in the grammar school in Nowy Targ, he served in the military in the School of Junior Lieutenants of Artillery in Włodzimierz Wołyński (presently in Ukraina). In 1935 he took his MSc degree in chemistry from the Faculty of Philosophy of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow. Between 1935 and 1939 he worked as a young research fellow (in Poland we say he worked as an assistant) in the department of Physical Chemistry of the Jagiellonian University under the supervision of a renowned Polish physical chemist of that time, Professor Bogdan Kamieński; in 1939 he successfully presented his PhD thesis.

After the closure of the Jagiellonian University by the Nazis, Dr Waksmundzki was employed as a teacher of chemistry and physics in the secondary Commercial School in Nowy Targ. He held that post until 1942, simultaneously being actively involved in the anti-Nazi underground movement as a member of the Organization of Armed Combat (in Polish ‘`Zwi±zek Walki Zbrojnej'’, abbreviated ZWZ), among others responsible for the section from Nowy Targ to the village of Łapsze of an underground route for illegal rescue and transport of people from Poland to Budapest, Hungary. In February, 1942, he was arrested by the Gestapo and consecutively imprisoned in the Auschwitz, Gross Rosen, Dyhenfurth and Mauthausen concentration camps. After liberation from the last of these in May 1945 he returned to Poland.

In 1945 he started organizing academic life in Poland, destroyed during the war. His first responsibility consisted in the organization of a Chair of Physical Chemistry in the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the newly established Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, Poland. He simultaneously acted as head of the Department of Inorganic Chemistry at the Faculty of Pharmacy, a post which he was to hold from 1946 to 1964. In 1949 he took his DSc degree from the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University. In 1950 he was appointed Professor Extraordinarius and in 1960 Professor Ordinarius (i.e. full professor). In the years 1967-1970 he worked as visiting professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

He has twice been recipient of Polish State Awards: in 1964 for his achievements in the field of chromatography, and in 1988 for his contribution to the technology of luminophores. He has supervised 34 PhD theses and 14 DSc dissertations. Twelve former students of Professor Waksmundzki have themselves been appointed as professors.

Professor Waksmundzki has been very active as an organizer. In the years 1957-1961 he acted as Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the Lublin School of Medicine. Between 1956 and 1980 he acted as head of the Committee of Chromatographic Analysis of the Polish Academy of Sciences. From 1969 to 1976 he was a member of the Main Board in the Ministry of Science and Higher Education and head of the Scientific Board of the Institute of Agrophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences. In the years 1964-67 he was the Vice-Chairman of the Polish Chemical Society and of numerous other learned bodies. He is a member of numerous scientific societies at home and abroad.

For his achievements he has been awarded many prestigious Polish orders (e.g., the Order of Polonia Restituta) and he is also a recipient of the three honorary doctorates (known in Poland by the Latin ‘doctorates honoris causa’): in 1985 from the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, in 1987 from the Lublin School of Medicine, and in 1989 from the Technical University of Lublin.