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October 14, 1939

SIGMUND FREUD: 1856-1939

JAMA. 1939;113(16):1494-1495. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800410044013

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On September 22, in his eighty-third year, Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis, died in London. Men in the future may evaluate fully his contribution to medicine. No doubt much of his teaching will be modified and some of it will be discarded. Certain, however, is the revolutionary influence he has had on psychiatry. Freud was born in 1856 in Freiberg, a small provincial town of Moravia, then belonging to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a son of simple Jewish parents. His nationality and his race influenced his career. He became a physician though later confessing that his secret desire had been to become a novelist. He was destined to be a profound student of human nature.

In his medical studies Freud was stimulated far more by Charcot and Bernheim in France than by his Viennese teachers. The Vienna Medical School was dominated by the mechanistic attitude of Virchow's cellular pathology. In the

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