Yale Bulletin and Calendar

January 16, 2004|Volume 32, Number 15|Two-Week Issue















Dr. Frederick Redlich

Former Medical School Dean
Dr. Fritz Redlich dies at age 93

Dr. Frederick (Fritz) Redlich, former dean of the School of Medicine and professor emeritus of psychiatry whose research was a major influence on the field of social psychiatry, died on Jan. 1 at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

He was 93 years old.

Dr. Redlich had a 39-year career at Yale (interrupted only by a year of duty in the U.S. Army Medical Service during World War II) and is credited with revitalizing Yale's Department of Psychiatry in the 1940s and leading it to national eminence.

Born in Vienna, Austria, in 1910, Fritz Redlich was educated in psychology and medicine at the University of Vienna, which awarded him an M.D. in 1935. Following his internship and residency training in neuropsychiatry in Vienna, he immigrated to the United States in 1938 with his first wife, Elsa -- a decision prompted in part by his experience as an exchange student at Wittenberg College of Ohio in 1930-1931 and in part by the German invasion of Austria. He completed a residency in neurology at the Boston City Hospital in 1942 and finished training in psychoanalysis at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute in 1948.

Dr. Redlich came to Yale in 1942. Five years later, despite his low academic rank as an assistant professor, he was asked by the dean of the medical school to help devise a plan of action for the Department of Psychiatry, which was then leaderless with postdoctoral students who were in revolt. Dr. Redlich proposed that the department be reshaped to promote scientific psychiatry based both on basic research and clinical work, and on the disciplines of the behavioral sciences (especially psychology and sociology), the biological sciences (especially neurology) and psychoanalysis.

He was subsequently promoted to associate professor and named executive officer of the department in 1948. Two years later, having implemented the first steps of his ideas, he was named professor and chair of psychiatry. He continued to lead the department for the next 17 years, during which time he continued to promote his multidisciplinary vision.

After being appointed dean of the School of Medicine in 1967, Dr. Redlich worked to strengthen and consolidate the basic science departments of the school, establish a new Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and create a new program of medical education. He also helped guide the school through the turbulent years of the Vietnam War protests, the Black Panther trial in New Haven and the related MayDay disruption of the University in 1970.

After leaving the deanship in 1972, he returned to the Department of Psychiatry for five more years before retiring from Yale. He subsequently taught for five years at the University of California at Los Angeles. He returned to New Haven in 1999 to spend his remaining years.

A renowned scholar, Dr. Redlich was the author or co-author of six books and nearly 100 scientific articles. His most well-known books were "Social Class and Mental Illness" (with Yale sociologist August Hollingshead), the textbook "Theory and Practice of Psychiatry" (with Dr. Daniel Freedman) and his recent biography, "Hitler: Diagnosis of a Destructive Prophet." The first of these was a pioneering study, which showed that lower-class patients received the least-advanced forms of treatment. This book is credited with influencing the establishment of the subdivision of social psychiatry and inspiring the creation of such facilities as the Yale-Connecticut Mental Health Center, of which Dr. Redlich was a co-founder and its first director.

He was also instrumental in inspiring the founders of the Western New England Institute of Psychoanalysis to locate in New Haven, and was president of the foundation's Fund for Research in Psychiatry throughout its existence.

Dr. Redlich received numerous honors and awards. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received Distinguished Service Awards from both the American College of Psychiatrists and the American Psychiatric Association. He was given the Salmon Award and the Julius von Wagner-Jauregg Award.

"Fritz was not all work. He enjoyed the outdoors, especially hiking, skiing and sailing; also music, art and literature. And close friendship," says George F. Mahl, professor emeritus of psychiatry and psychology. "He was a courageous and daring man. Those traits characterized all of his activities: recreation, scholarship and his academic administration."

Dr. Redlich is survived by his wife of 49 years, Herta Glaz, the former renowned mezzo-soprano, and by his son, Peter, of Chester, Connecticut. He is predeceased by his son Erik from his first marriage.


Yale College Dean Brodhead named president of Duke

Four new associate v.p.'s announced

Grant to help preserve composers' voices as 'national treasures'

Club members are 'hooked' on tango


Scientist's paper on human genetics cited as the best of the year

Pianist wins Grammy Award nomination

Yale Rep, Moscow troupe bring Chekhov story to the stage

Peabody festival pays tribute to Martin Luther King

Researchers find T cells and natural killer cells cause of skin allergies

Researchers develop new way to produce artificial skin for grafts

Wisdom is the only antidote for hate, according to Yale psychologist

Works capture the beauty of Brazil's 'gems'

JE to host exhibit of works by Pop artist Robert Rauschenberg

Noted statesman will deliver Walker Lecture

Symposium will celebrate architect Kahn's legacy

Event to focus on use of neuroimaging in study of alcoholism

Stern among Yale alumni honored by Architectural Digest

Former Medical School Dean Dr. Fritz Redlich dies at age 93

Projects win support to preserve endangered languages

Concert will feature performances by celebrated pianist and violinist

Yale Books in Brief

Campus Notes

Bulletin Home|Visiting on Campus|Calendar of Events|In the News

Bulletin Board|Classified Ads|Search Archives|Deadlines

Bulletin Staff|Public Affairs|News Releases| E-Mail Us|Yale Home