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date: 21 April 2021

Dederich, Charleslocked

(22 March 1913–28 February 1997)
  • Sarah Tracy


Dederich, Charles (22 March 1913–28 February 1997), reformed alcoholic and founder of Synanon, was born Charles Edwin Dederich in Toledo, Ohio, the son of Charles Edwin Dederich, a promoter, and Agnes Kountz Dederich, a singer. When Dederich was four years old, his father, an alcoholic, was killed in an automobile accident. Dederich graduated from high school and entered the University of Notre Dame. Eighteen months later, he dropped out because of poor grades. Returning to Ohio, Dederich enrolled in the University of Toledo but flunked out there as well. After securing work at Gulf Oil's Toledo office, he married a woman whose name is unknown and had one son. Dederich worked at Gulf as a traveling salesman. In 1944 he was diagnosed with meningitis and fell into a coma for two weeks. Through the experimental use of penicillin, he revived. Still, he suffered from some facial paralysis and loss of hearing and was convinced that he was dying. He quit his job and moved with his family to Los Angeles. In California, Dederich divorced his wife, married Ruth Jason (the date is unknown), and had a daughter. He found work at Douglas Aircraft but had difficulty maintaining employment because of his drinking and dependence on benzedrine....

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