Thomas, Alexander 1914-2003
THOMAS, Alexander 1914-2003
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born January 11, 1914, in New York, NY; died January 29, 2003, in New York, NY. Psychiatrist, neurologist, administrator, educator, and author. As a psychiatrist Thomas's special interest was the human temperament, and he conducted much of his research on children. In the 1950s he and his wife, child psychiatrist Stella Chess, participated in what would be a thirty-year project to explore the origins of temperament. They studied more than a hundred people from birth to adulthood, learning along the way that temperament is neither a completely genetic nor a wholly acquired trait. Thomas collaborated with Chess and sometimes others on books like Your Child Is a Person: A Psychological Approach to Parenthood without Guilt and Know Your Child: An Authoritative Guide for Today's Parents. Thomas spent his career as a neurologist and clinical psychiatrist at various New York City hospitals, notably Bellevue Hospital, where he worked from 1938 to his tenure as director of the psychiatry division from 1968 to 1978. Thomas's observations during his time at Bellevue led to the book Racism and Psychiatry. He also taught psychiatry at New York University for many years and published several other books. Academic in nature, these include Temperament and Behavior Disorders in Children, Origins and Evolution of Behavior Disorders: From Infancy to Early Adult Life, and Goodness of Fit: Clinical Applications from Infancy through Adult Life.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Los Angeles Times, February 1, 2003, p. B21.
New York Times, January 31, 2003, obituary by Wolfgang Saxon, p. C11.
Washington Post, February 1, 2003, p. B6.