Barron, Francis (Xavier) 1922-2002
BARRON, Francis (Xavier) 1922-2002
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born June 17, 1922, in Lansford, PA; died from complications from a fall October 6, 2002, in Santa Cruz, CA. Psychologist, educator, and author. Barron was a groundbreaking psychologist who was interested in human creativity and how creative personalities differ from other people. He graduated in 1942 with a bachelor's degree from La Salle University before serving as a medic during World War II. Following the war he returned to college to earn a master's degree from the University of Minnesota in 1948 and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1950. During the 1950s and 1960s he became well known for his research into creativity at the Institute for Personality Assessment and Research at Berkeley where, among other accomplishments, he created the Barron Ego-Strength Scale and other tests to measure human creativity. He also conducted research using hallucinatory drugs such as LSD and psilocybin, something he later regretted doing given the adverse effects the drugs had on people's health. He remained at Berkeley until 1974, when he moved to the University of California at Santa Cruz, retiring in 1992. Under the name Frank Barron, he wrote or edited over a dozen books during his career, including the acclaimed works Creativity and Psychological Health (1963) and Creativity and Personal Freedom (1968), both of which are considered groundbreaking works in psychology. Among Barron's last published works were No Rootless Flower: An Ecology of Creativity (1995) and the coedited Creators on Creating: Awakening and Cultivating the Imaginative Mind (1997). Barron, who freely integrated ideas from religion, philosophy, and literature into his theories, also enjoyed writing poetry; a collection of his verses titled Ghosts, was planned for posthumous publication. He was a recipient of several awards, including the Richardson Creativity Award in 1969 and the Rudolf Arnheim Award for outstanding contribution to psychology and the arts in 1995, both from the American Psychological Association.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Sheehy, Noel, Antony J. Chapman, and Wendy A. Conroy, editors, Biographical Dictionary of Psychology, Routledge (London, England), 1997.