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Eisendorfer, A. (1959). Adolph Stern—1879-1958. Psychoanal Q., 28:149-150.

(1959). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 28:149-150

Adolph Stern—1879-1958

Arnold Eisendorfer, M.D.

Adolph Stern was a self-effacing, serene man of astute, practical wisdom, a dedicated physician, and a pioneer in psychoanalysis.

He died August 20, 1958, after a short illness. He had had a critical illness that incapacitated him in 1950, but regained his health, and not only returned to practice in 1955, but read his last scientific paper at the meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association in 1957. At the time of his death he was vacationing at his country home in New Jersey where he enjoyed playing golf.

The courage that had brought him back to health was manifested throughout his life. At his death he was one of a few remaining first generation psychoanalysts in America. He had been attracted to psychoanalysis in 1910, became a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association in 1915, and was analyzed by Sigmund Freud in 1920.

Adolph Stern was a pioneer during the years when psychoanalysis in the United States was either unknown or fiercely attacked. With A. A. Brill, Jelliffe, Hoch, Oberndorf, and others he gave unstintingly of himself to help the young science gain recognition. Spurred by his enthusiasm for the new frontiers of knowledge opened by psychoanalysis, Adolph Stern not only applied this newly found knowledge to the benefit of his patients, but also spent much of his free time talking, lecturing to the profession and the laity, and writing on the basic concepts in professional and lay journals. He and the dedicated group talked, fought, taught, and learned, never missing an opportunity to share their knowledge and experience by meeting in the homes of the members—reading and discussing theoretical and clinical problems. This was a trying period and it called for dedicated men.

He was elected President of the American Psychoanalytic Association 1927-1928, and of the New York Psychoanalytic Society on three occasions—1922-1923, 1924-1925, and 1940-1942. He was an instructor emeritus of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute at the time of his death. He had been a training analyst and a member of the faculty from the founding of the Institute in 1931.


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