During his early age, Mario J. Molina was interested in chemistry and used to play with toy microscopes and chemistry sets. He was very close to his paternal aunt Esther Molina, who was also a chemist. He attended the Institut auf dem Rosenberg, which is located in Switzerland.
Later, Molina joined the National Autonomous University of Mexico, from where he earned a bachelor degree in chemical engineering. After a couple of years, he completed his postgraduate degree from the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg, West Germany. Further, he moved to University of California, Berkeley, where he earned Ph.D. in chemistry.
At the beginning of his career, Molina co-authored a paper in the journal Nature, highlighting the threat of CFCs to the ozone layer in the stratosphere. He also investigated the compounds which were similar to CFCs and established a CFC ozone depletion theory along with co-author, Rowland. The theory they discovered deals with chlorine atoms, produced by the decomposition of CFCs, catalytically destroying ozone.
Similarly, Molina has involved in numbers of research and teaching posts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of California, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech. He has also worked at the Department of Earth Atmospheric, Planetary Sciences, and the Department of Chemistry.
Molina is the winner of numerous awards including Esselen Award of the Northeast section of the American Chemical Society, NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Advancement, United Nations Environmental Programme Global 500 Award, and Willard Gibbs Award. In 2013, he also received Presidential Medal of Freedom by the former President, Barack Obama.
Molina is a Mexican by nationality and belongs Caucasian ethnicity. He married his girlfriend Luisa Y. Tan, a chemist. The couple blessed with a son Felipe, who moved to Irvine, California along with his wife and children. However, his relationship didn't last for a long time with his spouse and the couple got divorced. After his divorce with his first wife, he married Guadalupe Álvarez. And the couple is living a happy married life together.
Molina has earned a huge amount of money from his professional career. The average salary of an experienced professor's of California University ranges from $95,000-$217,317. He has also won the Noble Prize of worth 2.6 million. However, the exact figure of his net worth and salary is yet to reveal and is under review.