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March 11, 1968


JAMA. 1968;203(11):978-979. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140110070018

Emil Kraepelin, pioneer in experimental psychiatry and the proponent of a systematic classification of serious disorders of the mind, was born in Neustrelitz in the district of Mecklenburg. His father was a civil servant; his brother, Karl, eight years his senior and later director of the Zoological Museum in Hamburg, introduced him to biology. At the age of 18, Emil began the study of medicine, taking courses in Leipzig and Würzburg. There initial exposure to psychiatry came through the study of psychology under Wundt and the preparation of a prize essay under Rinecker, entitled "The Influence of Acute Illness in the Causation of Mental Disorders." In 1878, he received the MD degree in Würzburg and the following year, having joined Gudden in Munich, prepared a thesis, entitled The Place of Psychology in Psychiatry. Kraepelin also served for a time as assistant to Flechsig and in Erb's clinic in Leipzig. In