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Alexander, Franz Gabriel (22 January 1891–08 March 1964), psychoanalyst, was born in Budapest, Hungary, the son of Bernard Alexander, a college professor, and Regina Brössler. After receiving his B.A. from Budapest’s Humanistic Gymnasium in 1908, he briefly studied archaeology and philosophy at the University of Budapest before enrolling in its medical school. In 1910 he became a research associate in physiology at the university’s Institute for Experimental Pathology, where he conducted experiments correlating the work of the brain to its metabolism. In 1913 he received his M.D. and joined the university’s Institute for Hygiene as a research associate in bacteriology. In 1914 he was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian army and placed in charge of a Red Cross medical unit. Three years later he took command of a bacteriological field laboratory assigned to prevent malaria on the Italian front and was awarded the Merit Cross for Distinguished Service. After World War I he returned to the university as a research and clinical associate in psychiatry and neurology in its neuropsychiatric clinic....

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Bibring, Grete Lehner (11 January 1899–10 August 1977), psychoanalyst, was born in Vienna, Austria, the daughter of Moritz Lehner, a businessman, and Victoria Stengel. She attended the Humanistic Gymnasium for Girls, where she became fluent in Greek and Latin. She first learned of the work of Sigmund Freud at age sixteen in a psychology class at the Gymnasium. On the way home from school that day she purchased two of his books....

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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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Brunswick, Ruth Jane Mack (17 February 1897–24 January 1946), psychoanalyst, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Julian Mack, a judge and prominent Jewish philanthropist, and Jessie Fox. Julian Mack helped found the Harvard Law Review and later served as a Harvard overseer. Ruth Mack attended Radcliffe College during World War I and graduated from Tufts Medical School in 1922. In 1917 she had married Herrman Blumgart, who later pursued an extraordinarily successful medical career in Boston as an expert in heart disease; his brother Leonard had gone to Vienna for a short analysis with Sigmund Freud after the end of World War I....

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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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Coriat, Isador Henry (10 December 1875–26 May 1943), psychoanalyst, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Harry Coriat, a Jewish native of Morocco who emigrated to the United States from France in 1867, and Clara Einstein. When Isador was about four years old, the family moved to Boston, where his father established a cigar-manufacturing business. Isador attended public schools in Boston and graduated with an M.D. from Tufts Medical College in 1900. Immediately after graduating from Tufts, Coriat accepted an offer from ...

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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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Eissler, K. R. (02 July 1908–17 February 1999), psychoanalyst, was born Kurt Robert Eissler in Vienna, Austria, the son of Robert Joseph Eissler and Alice Wurmfeld Eissler. (It is not known what his parents did for a living.) He earned a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Vienna in 1934, with a thesis on the constancy of visual configurations in the variations of objects and their representation. Eissler continued his academic studies—in medicine—at the university, and was awarded a medical degree in 1937. He married Ruth Selke in 1936; the couple had no children....

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Erikson, Erik (15 June 1902–12 May 1994), psychoanalyst, author, and intellectual, was born near Frankfurt, Germany, the son of Karla Abrahamsen of Copenhagen and an unknown father. The story behind his name is complicated. He was initially named Erik Salomonsen, the surname being that of his mother’s first husband, who abandoned her during their honeymoon and was not Erik’s father. Karla later became pregnant by another man while still legally married to Salomonsen. The elders in the Abrahamsen family insisted that she leave Copenhagen to bear Erik on the outskirts of Frankfurt. When the boy was three and her first husband had died, leaving her technically a widow, she married Theodor Homburger, a prominent Karlsruhe, Germany, pediatrician active on the local synagogue council. Karla moved to Karlsruhe with her son, whose surname was changed to Homburger....

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Fenichel, Otto (02 December 1897–22 January 1946), psychoanalyst, was born in Vienna, Austria, the son of Leo Fenichel, a lawyer, and Emma Braun. At the age of seventeen Fenichel began to publicly display the analytic abilities, scientific curiosity, and social conscience that distinguished his contributions to psychoanalysis. Within the Young Culture movement Fenichel was influenced by the socialism and psychosexual radicalism of Sigfried Bernfeld and Alfred Kurella. Joining the movement’s left wing, he advocated social revolution and personal transformation—with sexual freedom and democratic education as its catalysts. As a Gymnasium student he studied biology, read Freud, and risked expulsion by surveying his fellow students’ sexual lives and publishing the results in a leftist journal, ...

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Fromm, Erich Pinchas (23 March 1900–18 March 1980), psychoanalyst, social psychologist, and author, was born in Frankfurt, Germany, the son of Naphtali Fromm, a wine merchant, and Rosa Krause. The marriage was unhappy, and Fromm was, in his words, an “unbearable, neurotic child” (Burston, p. 8). When he was twelve, a gifted, beautiful young woman close to his family committed suicide. The event impressed on him the irrationalities of human behavior, as did the First World War. When the war ended in German defeat in 1918, Fromm “was a deeply troubled young man who was obsessed with the question of how war was possible, by the wish to understand the irrationality of human mass behavior, by a passionate desire for peace and international understanding” (Burston, p. 10)....

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Fromm-Reichmann, Frieda (23 October 1889–28 April 1957), psychoanalyst and psychiatrist, was born in Karlsruhe, Germany, the daughter of Adolf Reichmann, a merchant and banker, and Klara Simon, a teacher. Believing that young women should be educated and able to support themselves, Klara Reichmann directed the education of her daughters in the arts and sciences and encouraged their professional training. Frieda Reichmann entered the medical school at Albertus University in Könisberg, Germany, in 1908, receiving her medical degree in 1913....

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Greenacre, Phyllis (03 May 1894–24 October 1989), psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and author, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Isaiah Thomas Greenacre and Emma Leantha Russell. Although she planned to work in the field of psychiatry from an early age, she received her first special training in general pathology. She earned her S.B. from the University of Chicago in 1913 and her M.D. from Rush Medical College in 1916....

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Kate Wittenstein and Benjamin Harris

Hinkle, Beatrice Moses (10 October 1874–28 February 1953), psychoanalyst and feminist, was born in San Francisco, California, the daughter of Benjamin Frederick Moses, a physician, and Elizabeth Bechley Van Geisen. She was educated at home and in 1892 married Walter Scott Hinkle, an assistant district attorney. They had two children. Her desire to study law met with her husband’s derision, and she enrolled instead at Cooper Medical College, later part of Stanford University, where she received her M.D. in 1899. That same year her husband died, and Hinkle became the city physician of San Francisco, the first woman to hold such a public health post....

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Karen Theodora Clementina Danielsen Horney. Oil on canvas, c. 1940-1950, by Suzanne Carvallo Schulein. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

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Horney, Karen Theodora Clementina Danielsen (15 September 1885–04 December 1952), psychoanalyst, was born near Hamburg, Germany, the daughter of Berndt Wackels Danielsen, a sea captain, and Clothilde Marie van Ronzelen. Among the first to benefit from the gradual opening of German education to women, Karen Danielsen entered a girls’ Gymnasium in Hamburg in the first year of its existence and embarked on medical studies at the University of Freiburg just six years after its doors opened to women. In 1909 she married Oskar Horney, a doctoral student she had met in Freiburg who was embarking on a career as an executive in the Stinnes Corporation in Berlin. In Berlin, Horney continued her medical studies in the field of psychiatry and obtained her medical degree in 1915. By that time she had become deeply engrossed in a new and little-known discipline called psychoanalysis, imported to Berlin by Karl Abraham, a follower of Sigmund Freud....

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Jackson, Edith Banfield (02 January 1895–05 June 1977), pediatrician and psychoanalyst, was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the daughter of William Sharpless Jackson, a railroad executive, mining entrepreneur and banker, and Helen Fiske Banfield, an 1879 graduate of Vassar College. Jackson graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors from Vassar College in 1916 and from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1921. She held an internship at University of Iowa Hospital in 1921–1922 and a pediatric internship at Bellevue Hospital in 1922–1923. After four years on a rickets research project at the Yale School of Medicine, Jackson began a residency in psychiatry at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. in 1928. Between 1930 and 1936 she completed a training analysis with Sigmund Freud and participated in seminars at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute. Upon leaving Vienna, Jackson provided Anna Freud with the seed money to establish the world’s first day-care center for infants from impoverished families. The “Edith Jackson Krippe” became the prototype for the Hampstead Nurseries for refugee children that Anna Freud directed in England during World War II....

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Jelliffe, Smith Ely (27 October 1886–25 September 1945), neurologist, psychoanalyst, and medical editor, was born in New York City, the son of William Munson Jelliffe and Susan Emma Kitchell, both teachers. Jelliffe entered the civil engineering program at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and left without graduating in 1886 to enroll in the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. He received his M.D. with honors in 1889 and interned for a year at St. Mary’s Hospital, Brooklyn, after which he traveled to Europe for a year. There he studied medicine and botany and visited cultural and historical sites. On his return in 1891, Jelliffe opened a general practice in his parents’ home in Brooklyn. To pay off his debts he did part-time clinical and pathological work in a hospital. His botanical studies in Europe had also qualified him to be a sanitary inspector for the Brooklyn Board of Health and to teach materia medica and botany at the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy at night. In 1894 Jelliffe married his longtime fiancée, Helena Dewey Leeming. The couple moved to New York City where they had five children. A year after his wife’s sudden death in 1916, he married Belinda Dobson; they had no children....