Natta was born in
Italy. He earned his degree in chemical engineering from the
Politecnico di Milano university in
Milan in 1924. In 1927 he passed the exams for becoming a professor there. In 1933 he became a full professor and the director of the Institute of General Chemistry of
Pavia University, where he stayed until 1935. In that year he was appointed full professor in physical chemistry at the
University of Rome.
From 1936 to 1938 he moved as a full professor and director of the Institute of Industrial Chemistry at the
Polytechnic Institute of Turin. In 1938 he took over as the head of the Department of
chemical engineering at the
Politecnico di Milano university, in a somewhat controversial manner, when his predecessor
Mario Giacomo Levi was forced to step down because of
racial laws against
Jews being introduced in
Natta's work at Politecnico di Milano led to the improvement of earlier work by
Karl Ziegler and to the development of the
Ziegler-Natta catalyst. He received the
Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1963 with
Karl Ziegler for their research in high
Giulio Natta with wife in the 1960s
In 1935 Natta married Rosita Beati, a woman of great culture and sensitivity, who helped his career in many ways. A graduate in literature, she coined the terms "isotactic", "atactic" and "syndiotactic" for polymers discovered by her husband.
 They had two sons, Giuseppe and Franca. Beati died in 1968.
Natta was diagnosed with
Parkinson's disease in 1956. By 1963, his condition had progressed to the point that he required the assistance of his son and four colleagues to present his speech at the Nobel ceremonies in Stockholm. Prof. Natta died in
Italy at age 76.