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Babcock, James Woods (11 August 1856–03 March 1922), psychiatrist, was born in Chester, South Carolina, the son of Sidney E. Babcock, a physician, and Margaret Woods. He graduated from Harvard College in 1882 and received an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1886. He served as assistant physician at McLean Hospital for the Insane in Somerville, Massachusetts, from 1887 until 1891, when he was appointed superintendent of the South Carolina State Lunatic Asylum in Columbia....

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Bell, Luther V. (20 December 1806–11 February 1862), psychiatrist and founding member of the American Psychiatric Association, was born in Francestown, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, the son of Samuel Bell, a lawyer, governor of New Hampshire, and U.S. senator, and Mehitable Dana. After his mother’s death in August 1810, Bell spent his early years with his paternal grandparents in Londonderry (now Derry), New Hampshire....

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Bender, Lauretta (09 August 1897–04 January 1987), child psychiatrist, researcher, and educator, was born in Butte, Montana, the daughter of John Bender, a lawyer, and Katherine Irvine. Her father had moved to Montana to seek business opportunities with copper companies. Disappointed by failures, the Benders moved to Washington State and then to Hollywood, California. Bender repeated first grade three times because she suffered from a form of dyslexia. Her parents and teachers at first thought she was mentally defective but realized that she could learn by listening as well as by reading....

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Berne, Eric (10 May 1910–15 July 1970), psychiatrist, was born Eric Lennard Bernstein in Montreal, Quebec, the son of David Hillel Bernstein, a general physician, and Sara Gordon Bernstein, a writer and editor. When Eric was eleven, his father died from tuberculosis, leaving his mother to provide for him and his younger sister. Eric studied mathematics and physics at McGill University, where he graduated with a B.A. in 1931. The intense playfulness that would later characterize Berne's writing and work was evident in his youth; as an undergraduate he wrote for several McGill newspapers under the pseudonyms Lennard Gandalac, Ramsbottom Horseley, and Cynical St. Cyr, a pen name that reappeared in his adult life as Cyprian St. Cyr. Under the pen name Lennard Gandalac, Esq., he failed to publish a novel, ...

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Blumer, George Alder (25 May 1857–25 April 1940), psychiatrist, was born in Sunderland, England, the son of Luke Blumer, a physician, and Mary Jane Bone. After an excellent education in the classics and foreign languages at schools in England, Germany, and France, he attended the University of Edinburgh as a medical student in 1874–1875 and completed his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 1879. He later returned to Edinburgh for a year of postgraduate training in 1884–1885. In 1880 he obtained a post as assistant physician at the Utica (N.Y.) State Hospital for the Insane, one of the best-known psychiatric asylums in the country. He also joined the staff of the ...

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A. A. Brill. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B03153).

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Brill, A. A. (12 October 1874–02 March 1948), psychoanalyst and psychiatrist, was born Abraham Arden Brill in Kanczuga, Galicia, in the Austro-Hungarian empire, the son of Philip Brill, a noncommissioned commissary officer, and Esther Seitelbach. His parents were pious and provincial Jews with traditional expectations for their son. Brill found these stifling and at fifteen he fled to the United States, arriving destitute and alone in 1889. With fierce ambition and through hard work Brill rose out of the Lower East Side ghetto in New York City where he worked at diverse, petty jobs to fulfill his father’s wish that he become both an educated man and a doctor. Although Brill could not afford to complete his course work at the City College of New York, where he had started his studies at night, he managed to educate himself in several languages, in the classics, and in philosophy, accomplishments in which he took pride throughout his life. He finally received a Ph.B. from New York University in 1901 and a medical degree from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1903. In many ways, however, his real education in his destined métier had not yet begun....

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Bryce, Peter (05 March 1834–14 August 1892), psychiatrist and mental hospital superintendent, was born in Columbia, South Carolina, the son of Peter Bryce and Martha Smith. His father died before Bryce had finished preparatory school. In 1852 Bryce enrolled at the Citadel in South Carolina, from which he graduated with distinction in 1855. In 1857 he entered the medical school of the University of New York (now New York University), from which he graduated in 1859. As was common in medical schools of that era, there were no courses that prepared him for a career in mental health care. In the summer following his graduation, however, he traveled to Europe, where he toured psychiatric hospitals. After his return to the United States, he served briefly at a psychiatric hospital in Trenton, New Jersey; shortly thereafter he returned to Columbia, where he took a position as assistant physician at the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum....

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Richard Maurice Bucke. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-98116).

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Bucke, Richard Maurice (18 March 1837–19 February 1902), psychiatrist and biographer, was born in Methwold, County of Norfolk, England, the son of Reverend Horatio Walpole Bucke, a Church of England curate and a direct descendant of Sir Robert Walpole, the renowned prime minister of England. (His mother’s name has been recorded as Clarissa Andrews, but that cannot be confirmed.) Within a year of his birth, Bucke’s parents emigrated to Upper Canada, settling on a farm near London, Ontario. His father, a classical scholar and linguist, brought to Canada a library of five or six thousand books in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Bucke and his six siblings received their schooling at home....

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Burrow, Trigant (07 September 1875–24 May 1950), psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and phylobiologist, was born in Norfolk, Virginia, the son of John W. Burrow, a wholesale pharmacist, and Anastasia Devereux. His Protestant father was widely read in science and a freethinker. His devoutly Roman Catholic mother was intelligent, cultured, and moody. A painful rift between the parents exposed the son to human conflict and may have been an important background factor to his lifelong sensitive study of human interrelationships. The youngest of four children, Burrow was painfully affected by the death of his sister when he was twelve years old....

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Campbell, Charles Macfie (08 September 1876–07 August 1943), psychiatrist, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of Daniel Campbell, a banker, and Eliza McLaren. After preparation at George Watson’s Boys College in Scotland, Campbell entered the University of Edinburgh in 1893. He received an M.A. in philosophy in 1897. He then stayed on at the university, earning a B.S. in 1900 with distinction in anatomy, physiology, and anthropology. After his training in the life sciences, Campbell continued at Edinburgh to pursue a medical education, graduating summa cum laude in 1902 with an M.B. and a Ch.B....

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Cobb, Stanley (10 December 1887–25 February 1968), physician, neurologist, and psychiatrist, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, the son of John Candler Cobb, a developer of Boston’s South Bay, and Leonore Smith of New York. A solitary child, handicapped by stammering, Cobb was tutored at home during his early years. He enjoyed observing birds and animals and developed a lifelong interest in natural history. His interest during his teenage years in pursuing a medical career received impetus from the comment of a distinguished surgeon, who on observing Cobb’s deftness in skinning a shrew, remarked, “With that ability you should go into medicine!” (White, p. 13)....

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Cotton, Henry Andrews (18 May 1876–08 May 1933), psychiatrist, was born in Norfolk, Virginia, the son of George Adolphus Cotton, occupation unknown, and Mary Delha Biggs (daughter of U.S. senator Asa Biggs). He studied medicine at Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland (M.D., 1899). After six months of service as a private in the Army Medical Corps and at the Baltimore City Lunatic Asylum, Cotton was recruited in 1900 by ...

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Deutsch, Helene Rosenbach (09 October 1884–29 March 1982), psychoanalyst and psychiatrist, was born in Przemyśl, Poland, the daughter of Wilhelm Rosenbach, a lawyer, and Regina Fass. Her parents were Jewish, but she grew up a Polish nationalist. As early as 1898 she became romantically involved with a much older man, Herman Lieberman, who was a Social Democratic leader. Lieberman was married, however, and a divorce in those days was politically out of the question; nonetheless, their affair lasted for years. Although formal schooling was impossible in Poland for a woman, tutoring enabled her to enroll at the University of Vienna in 1907. From the outset she was interested in a psychiatric career....

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Dunbar, Helen Flanders (14 May 1902–21 August 1959), psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and pioneer in psychosomatic medicine, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Francis William Dunbar, a mathematician and patent attorney, and Edith Vaughan Flanders, a genealogist. She attended a series of private, largely experimental schools, graduating from Bryn Mawr College in 1923....

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Pliny Earle. Daguerreotype from the studio of Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-109935).

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Earle, Pliny (31 December 1809–17 May 1892), psychiatrist and asylum superintendent, was born in Leicester, Massachusetts, the son of Pliny Earle, a manufacturer and farmer, and Patience Buffum. Raised in a lenient but devout Quaker household, Earle first attended the Leicester Academy and then a Quaker boarding school in Providence, Rhode Island. Between 1829 and 1835 he taught at the latter and served briefly as its principal. In 1835 he entered the University of Pennsylvania as a medical student and received an M.D. in 1837. His thesis dealt with the treatment of insanity, a subject with which he had become familiar through visits with ...

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Erickson, Milton Hyland (05 December 1901–25 March 1980), psychiatrist and hypnotherapist, was born in Aurum, Nevada, the son of Albert Erickson, a miner and prospector, and Clara Florence Miner. Around 1905 the family resettled on a farm in Wisconsin, where Erickson was raised. In 1925 he married Helen Hutton; they divorced in 1935. Erickson attended the University of Wisconsin, where he received a B.A. in 1927 and an M.A. in psychology and a medical degree, both in 1928. While still an undergraduate, he began to experiment with hypnotic techniques. By his junior year, Erickson had hypnotized several hundred people and performed demonstrations of hypnosis for the faculties of the medical school and the psychology department....

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Felix, Robert Hanna (29 May 1904–31 March 1990), psychiatrist and public health official, was born in Downs, Kansas, the son of Tasso Oliver Felix, a physician, and Neva Lee Trusdle. He matriculated at the University of Colorado in 1923 and received his A.B. and M.D. in 1926 and 1930, respectively. After completing his internship at Colorado General Hospital in 1931, he received a Commonwealth Fund fellowship in psychiatry and spent the next two years in residency at the Colorado Psychopathic Hospital in Denver....