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(1937). Obituary: William A. White, M.D.. Psychoanal. Rev., 24B(2):210-230.
(1937). Psychoanalytic Review, 24B(2):210-230
Obituary: William A. White, M.D.
William Alanson White died Sunday, March 7, 1937, of a colonic diverticulitis with secondary multiple colon infections of the liver. By his untimely death, for he was but sixty-seven years of age, psychiatry has lost a great champion and leader, medicine a doctor of preeminent value, and humanity a man of distinction, rich in those qualities most prized by his fellow man.
He was born in Brooklyn, January 24, 1870, not far from the Long Island Medical School and Hospital. In early boyhood, as he has told us in his Forty Years of Psychiatry, the sound of the ambulance gong was familiar to him and quite early he established boyhood relations with hospital workers. Dr. Sherman Wight, son of one of the surgeons of the hospital, was one of his boyhood chums. His parents were in moderate circumstances. He went through the public school on the “Heights,” a section of the city overlooking New York Bay and mostly occupied by people of solid worth in the oldest and best residential part of the city. Here were located Henry Ward Beecher's Plymouth Church, Dr. John Hall's Episcopal Church, the Polytechnic and Packer Institutes, the Long Island Historical Society and the homes of many solid merchants of both New York and Brooklyn.
In this same Forty Years of Psychiatry he tells us of his early interests in natural history and how at the age of fifteen he obtained a free scholarship at Cornell University while still in the high school grades at public school.
The early years were difficult, his public school background fragmentary, but he persisted, eking out his board and lodgings by extra work in the museum and laboratories. He worked hard and played hard and took advantage of the work of Burt G. Wilder on the comparative morphology of the brain, and was specially attracted to Professors Gage, Comstock, and Schurman, the last of whom was of particular service to him when he sought the post at St. Elizabeths some years later. In those days Latin and Greek were essential in the academic line. These the high schools of Brooklyn of that day did not provide. Dr.
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