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Dr William Alanson White

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Dr William Alanson White Famous memorial

Birth
Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Death
7 Mar 1937 (aged 67)
District of Columbia, USA
Burial
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend
Plot
Section C
Memorial ID
25724421 View Source

Physician, Author. He received notoriety as an American neurologist and psychiatrist during the early years of the 20th century. He was a pioneer in mental health promoting changes from “Insane Asylums” that housed the chronically mental ill to well-managed mental health facilities giving proper care to patients. As a boy, he was playmates with the sons of physicians since he lived only a block from a medical center. Watching his playmates' father working inspired him to become a physician. At the age of fifteen, he was a recipient of a scholarship to Cornell University in New York City. He graduated with a degree in medicine in 1891 from Long Island Medical School. Having an interest in psychiatric medicine, a year later he was appointed to the staff at Binghamton State Hospital, the second oldest state-funded “asylum for the chronic insane.” Once he accepted Sigmund Freud's doctrine of the unconscious, he promoted Freud's doctrine, which gained the acceptance to other mental hospitals in the United States through White's efforts. He became the a co-editor of the professional periodical the “ Psychoanalytic Review.” In 1903 United States President Theodore Roosevelt recognized his distinguished contributions at Binghamton and appointed him to the superintendent position of the Federal Government Hospital for the Insane in Washington D.C. This proved to be a challenge but White was steadfast in a calm matter working for the best care for these patients. Change came hard as it took many difficult years to reorganize the management, upgrade the building, and comply to a Congressional investigation. Through his efforts there were changes: In 1907 he established a psychiatric laboratory, in 1920 built the Medical Surgical Building, developed a nursing school, started social work and occupational therapy programs, and encouraged others to do scientific investigations with publication of their finds. He published at least 200 papers and nineteen books including his 1907 text book, “Outlines of Psychiatry,” which became a major medical textbook for thirty years. He also wrote his “Autobiography of a Purpose,” which was published posthumously in 1938. He supported various law changes including allowing the voluntary admissions for patients to mental hospitals. His testimony for the defense in the famous Loeb- Leopold murder trial was well-documented. He was professor of neurology and psychiatry at George Washington and Georgetown Universities, from 1924 to 1925 was president of the American Psychiatric Association, president of the American Psychopathological Association, president of the American Psychoanalytic Association, and in 1930 organizer of the First International Congress on Mental Hygiene. The Federal Government Hospital for the Insane is today St. Elizabeth's Hospital, one of the best-known psychiatric hospitals in the world. In White's memory, the William Alanson White Foundation was established in 1933 and sponsors the Washington School of Psychiatry and publishes “Psychiatry,” a professional journal. Founded in 1943, the William Alanson White Institute in New York City is a facility for training psychoanalysts and psychotherapist to be current in their treatments of various disorders.

Physician, Author. He received notoriety as an American neurologist and psychiatrist during the early years of the 20th century. He was a pioneer in mental health promoting changes from “Insane Asylums” that housed the chronically mental ill to well-managed mental health facilities giving proper care to patients. As a boy, he was playmates with the sons of physicians since he lived only a block from a medical center. Watching his playmates' father working inspired him to become a physician. At the age of fifteen, he was a recipient of a scholarship to Cornell University in New York City. He graduated with a degree in medicine in 1891 from Long Island Medical School. Having an interest in psychiatric medicine, a year later he was appointed to the staff at Binghamton State Hospital, the second oldest state-funded “asylum for the chronic insane.” Once he accepted Sigmund Freud's doctrine of the unconscious, he promoted Freud's doctrine, which gained the acceptance to other mental hospitals in the United States through White's efforts. He became the a co-editor of the professional periodical the “ Psychoanalytic Review.” In 1903 United States President Theodore Roosevelt recognized his distinguished contributions at Binghamton and appointed him to the superintendent position of the Federal Government Hospital for the Insane in Washington D.C. This proved to be a challenge but White was steadfast in a calm matter working for the best care for these patients. Change came hard as it took many difficult years to reorganize the management, upgrade the building, and comply to a Congressional investigation. Through his efforts there were changes: In 1907 he established a psychiatric laboratory, in 1920 built the Medical Surgical Building, developed a nursing school, started social work and occupational therapy programs, and encouraged others to do scientific investigations with publication of their finds. He published at least 200 papers and nineteen books including his 1907 text book, “Outlines of Psychiatry,” which became a major medical textbook for thirty years. He also wrote his “Autobiography of a Purpose,” which was published posthumously in 1938. He supported various law changes including allowing the voluntary admissions for patients to mental hospitals. His testimony for the defense in the famous Loeb- Leopold murder trial was well-documented. He was professor of neurology and psychiatry at George Washington and Georgetown Universities, from 1924 to 1925 was president of the American Psychiatric Association, president of the American Psychopathological Association, president of the American Psychoanalytic Association, and in 1930 organizer of the First International Congress on Mental Hygiene. The Federal Government Hospital for the Insane is today St. Elizabeth's Hospital, one of the best-known psychiatric hospitals in the world. In White's memory, the William Alanson White Foundation was established in 1933 and sponsors the Washington School of Psychiatry and publishes “Psychiatry,” a professional journal. Founded in 1943, the William Alanson White Institute in New York City is a facility for training psychoanalysts and psychotherapist to be current in their treatments of various disorders.

Bio by: Linda Davis


Inscription

Superintendent of Saint Elizabeth's Hospital 1903-1937


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: dochog
  • Added: 3 Apr 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 25724421
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/25724421/william-alanson-white: accessed ), memorial page for Dr William Alanson White (24 Jan 1870–7 Mar 1937), Find a Grave Memorial ID 25724421, ; Maintained by Find a Grave Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.