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Adler, Alfred (06 February 1870–28 May 1937), physician and psychological theorist, was born in Rudolfsheim, near Vienna, Austria, the son of Leopold Adler, a grain merchant, and Pauline Beer. Adler was born into a lower middle-class, religiously nonobservant, and ethnically assimilated Jewish family in Austria. The death of a close younger brother in early childhood and Adler’s own near-death from illness the following year, at the age of five, seem to have inspired his interest in a medical career. A mediocre student, he attended several Viennese private schools and then began study at the University of Vienna in the fall of 1888....

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Sheldon, William Herbert (17 November 1898–16 September 1977), psychologist and physician, was born in Warwick, Rhode Island, the son of William Herbert Sheldon, a jeweler, and Mary Abby Greene. Little is known about Sheldon’s parents, but the psychologist was very close to his father, an amateur naturalist, hunting guide, and professional breeder as well as a judge of sporting dogs and poultry. William Herbert Sheldon, Sr., who is said to have been a close friend of psychologist and philosopher ...

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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....