but finally Govan High Dux Bill Anderson has received his medal.
The scientist, who is now 88, was capped Dux of the secondary school in 1942 but, due to the war, never received his gong.
Now, thanks to a letter to head teacher Iain White, the former pupil has finally been given his prize.
Mr White travelled to London to present former pupil Mr Anderson with his Dux prize.
His family, including neice Maureen Duff, who wrote to the school, had a special dinner to mark the occasion at which the head teacher handed over his medal and a certificate.
Dr Anderson said: "It will be rather nice to have this medal to pass on to my family.
"I'm very pleased that Mr White came to London to hand it over - the sooner the better, I thought, as I'm 88 now and won't be here much longer.
"I was looking forward to asking him a lot about the school as it is now as it will be much different from the building I was educated in."
Dr Anderson attended Govan High School, which counts Sir Alex Ferguson among its ex-pupils, in 1937.
He was born in Springburn and lived with his family in Nitshill before moving to Govan when his father died.
The grandfather, who has three children and six grandchildren, finished his school education in 1942 and went on to Glasgow University.
He said: "I have very clear and fond memories of my old secondary school.
"We had excellent teachers; I remember Miss Walton, who taught English, and Miss Anderson, who was a superb French teacher. Miss McGill was our Latin teacher, whom we called Dinny McGill.
"During the war we had to have the windows boarded up and the place sandbagged so while this was going on everyone was moved to be taught in Elderpark Library."
After school Dr Anderson studied for a degree in chemistry and then earned his PhD working at Glasgow Royal Cancer Hospital, now the Beatson,
He then moved to the Royal Marsden in London in 1952 and became eminent in the world of cancer research.
Dr Anderson and his wife Nancy, 90, lived in Wimbledon, though she is now in a care home in Hertfordshire where he visits her every day.