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Zilboorg, G. (1935). Mortimer Williams Raynor, M.D—1879-1935. Psychoanal Q., 4:631-632.

(1935). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 4:631-632

Mortimer Williams Raynor, M.D—1879-1935

Grecory Zilboorg

Dr. Mortimer Williams Raynor died on October 5, 1935, at the age of fifty-six. His death is a loss which will be deeply felt by many even outside the circle of those who were bound to him by ties of personal affection and regard for his untimely passing interrupts a unique contribution to the development of psychoanalytic psychiatry in America.

Throughout years of valuable service in the New York State hospital system, Dr. Raynor preserved his intellectual resilience, his scientific open-mindedness and a rare degree of progressive idealism. From the State system he gained a knowledge of administrative detail and the capacity to "run things smoothly"; yet he was never submerged by authoritarian trends. He struggled against the custodial traditions of large, over-crowded hospitals, and was preoccupied constantly with the development of the therapeutic resources of modern psychopathology. It was in the State service, too, that Dr. Raynor developed his early interest in the phenomena of the unconscious. He studied hypnoidal states, experimenting with alcoholic amnesias, and succeeded more than once in uncovering in his patients forgotten events and emotions. This interest in the unconscious, and ultimately in psychoanalysis, was a part of his incessant search for new understanding and increased therapeutic powers. And it was this same quest that influenced Dr. Raynor in 1926 to leave his advanced rank in the State system hierarchy (i.e., the superintendency of the Kings Park State Hospital), to become the Medical Director of the Bloomingdale Hospital.

In his new post Dr. Raynor turned to a closer contact with practical psychoanalysis. The library of Bloomingdale Hospital, his favorite place of retreat, became the center of the scientific life of the hospital. Under his stimulus the library grew to be one of the most up-to-date reference libraries in any private institution. The classics of psychoanalytic literature as well as psychoanalytic periodicals took their proper places on its shelves and in the hands of the medical staff.

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