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Grinker, R.R., Sr. (1977). Profile. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 5(1):1-2.

(1977). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 5(1):1-2


Roy R. Grinker, Sr.

Roy R. Grinker, Sr.

I was born in 1900, the first child and grandchild in a family devoted to but strict with their children. My father was a neuropsychiatrist who introduced me to the world of literature so that all my life “Books have been my best friend.” It was a happy childhood marred somewhat by the birth of a brother four years younger. In addition, during the course of my early years I suffered from a congenital back problem often painful on exercise, color blindness, and tone deafness. Despite these handicaps, a strict superego instilled by my father who had great ambitions for me resulted in my working hard at my chosen field all my life.

At first I entered the field of neurology after a study period abroad with a wonderful bride now of 52 years who facilitated my career by permitting me to work five nights a week, reserving two nights for social life. Shortly after my return to Chicago my father died and I gravitated to academia at the University of Chicago where I came in contact with the great naturalists in the neurobiological science, including my best friend Percival Bailey. Much too early, I wrote a text “Neurology” now in its 7th edition. Then I received a fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation to study psychiatry and psychoanalysis abroad and started my analytic career under Prof. Sigmund Freud in order to set up the first psychiatry program at the university.

But the university was not ready for psychiatry (not for 30 years afterward) and I met with obstactles and frustration.

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