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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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Goldstein, Kurt (06 November 1878–19 September 1965), neurologist and psychiatrist, was born in Katowice, Poland, then a part of Germany, the son of Abraham Goldstein, the prosperous owner of a lumberyard, and Rosalie Cassirer. Quiet, serious, and bookish as a boy, Goldstein earned the nickname “Professor” from his classmates at the local public school. Born Jewish, he strongly identified with the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and German Romanticism and regarded his Judaism more as a “destiny” than a “mission” (Robert Ulrich, in ...

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Myerson, Abraham (23 November 1881–03 September 1948), psychiatrist and neurologist, was born in the ghetto village of Yanova, Lithuania (then part of Russia), the son of Morris Joseph Myerson, a schoolteacher of socialist leanings who became a peddler, then a junk dealer, after emigrating to the United States in 1885, and Sophie Segal. The family first settled in New Britain, Connecticut, moving in 1892 to Boston’s South End, where Myerson grew up in poverty. Following his graduation from Boston’s English High School in 1898, he worked for seven years in his brother’s shop, where he cut pipe....

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Spitzka, Edward Charles (10 November 1852–13 January 1914), neurologist and psychiatrist, was born in New York City, the son of Charles A. Spitzka, a watchmaker, and Johanna Tag. After study at the College of the City of New York, Spitzka attended the Medical School of the University of New York, receiving the M.D. degree in 1873. As was customary in the period, Spitzka sought further training in Europe. From 1873 to 1876 he studied with notable scientists, serving for a time as assistant to the holder of the chair of embryology in Vienna. This period of intense academic pursuit, coupled with the European standard of scholarly excellence, greatly influenced Spitzka’s subsequent thinking and attitude about his field and his peers. During his European stay he met and married (1875) Catherine Wacek; they had one child, a son, ...