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Sidis, Borislocked

(12 October 1867–24 October 1923)
  • Eugene Taylor


Sidis, Boris (12 October 1867–24 October 1923), psychologist, physician, and pioneer in the field of psychopathology, was born in Kiev, Russia, the son of Moses Sidis, a well-to-do merchant and intellectual, and Mary Marmor, both Ukranian Jews. Under his father’s tutelage, Boris showed early intellectual promise, developing an interest in poetry, languages, and history. During the czarist pogroms against the Jews in the 1880s, he was arrested for teaching peasants how to read and write. He spent two years in solitary confinement and withstood beating and torture before his father was able to secure his freedom. He immediately escaped from Russia and went, nearly penniless, to New York in 1887. While tutoring Russian immigrants, he met Sarah Mandelbaum. In 1891 Sidis went on to Boston, where Mandelbaum soon joined him. She enrolled at the Boston University Medical School, and he continued to work and study. At her urging, he qualified to enter Harvard as a special student in 1892, and he received an A.B. in 1894. Also in 1894 he married Mandelbaum; they had two children....

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