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Oberndorf, C.P. (1948). A. A. Brill. Psychoanal Q., 17:149-154.

(1948). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 17:149-154

A. A. Brill

C. P. Oberndorf

Abraham Arden Brill spent his student days and entire professional life in New York City and was the intimate friend, and often the mentor, of the older members of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. The influence of his long sustained efforts and scientific contributions has had a profound effect upon all, including the younger group who had not the privilege of close association with him. Medical historians in the future may well regard the time of Brill's passing as marking the full ripening of an era in psychiatry in America to which he himself referred as the freudian epoch and in which he assumed distinguished leadership.

The factual data of his life will serve as an armature about which we may build the full statue of the man. He was born in Kanczuga, Austria, on October 12th, 1874 and arrived in New York in 1889, a boy of fifteen, alone, almost penniless and friendless. In this new, bewildering country he was thrown upon his own resources and entered the school of hard work, long hours and rough competition. This small, eager youth, who struck out for himself in the maelstrom of New York's east side, must have been exceptionally sturdy, tireless, industrious and alert. He worked during the day at all sorts of jobs open to a youth in his teens but by diligent application to books of knowledge at night, he rapidly acquired sufficient preliminary education to enter the College of the City of New York. He studied there for two years before he was compelled to discontinue his studies because of lack of funds, a situation which repeated itself during his medical studies. Eventually he was graduated a Ph.B. from New York University in 1901, and from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in 1903, at the age of twenty-nine, a Doctor of Medicine.

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