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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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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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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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Rank, Otto (22 April 1884–31 October 1939), psychologist and psychoanalyst, was born Otto Rosenfeld in Vienna, Austria, the son of Simon Rosenfeld, an artisan jeweler, and Karoline Fleischner. His older brother studied law while Otto became a locksmith: the family could not afford higher education for both. Close to his mother but alienated from his alcoholic father, Otto adopted “Rank” in adolescence and formalized it a few years later, symbolizing self-creation, a central theme of his life and work....