Researcher. Colleague. Leader. Mentor.
Washington DC, December 11, 2014 - E. James Anthony, MD, FRCPsych, President AACAP, 1981-1983, renowned child psychiatrist and dedicated member of our AACAP family, died peacefully on December 10, 2014 at the age of 98.
A true giant in our specialty, he was President of American Academy of child and Adolescent Psychiatry, President of the International Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions, the Association for Child Analysis, and the World Association of Infant Psychiatry and Allied Professions.
He was best known for his work on resilience invulnerability/risk in children, particularly those whose parents had serious mental illnesses. He was one of two founders of group psychotherapy. A prolific writer, he authored 320 research articles and 19 books, many of which were translated into other languages. Dr. Anthony was recruited from England in 1958 to hold the world’s first endowed chair in Child Psychiatry, the Blanche F. Ittleson Professorship at Washington University in St. Louis where most of his longitudinal research was conducted. His work in St. Louis at the Edison Child Study Center included many grants from foundations and the NIMH.
Dr. Anthony was born in Calcutta, India and educated in Darjeeling, India from the age of four and a half by Jesuits before immigrating to England for medical training. He was a protégé and collaborator with S.H. Foulkes, Jean Piaget, Anna Freud, Erik Erikson, John Bowlby and Sir Aubrey Lewis who throughout his early career introduced him to international and cultural aspects of child development.
He attended medical school at Kings College during the Second World War, including delivering babies during the bombings of London. His first assignment as an officer was to work at Northfield Military Center with S.H. Foulkes, dealing with "shell shocked soldiers". There they started rudimentary group psychotherapy. Later he was transferred to Hong Kong as chief medical officer for Southeast Asia and was charged with setting up day care centers for Japanese children who survived the Hiroshima bombings. When he returned from the war, he continued his psychiatric and child psychiatric training at the Maudsley Hospital and received the gold medal from the University of London. He was a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatry and his numerous lectureships included a standing appointment at the London School of Economics.
He was a senior lecturer at the Hampstead Clinic and received a Nuffield Fellowship to study for a year with Jean Piaget. At the same time his collaboration with S.H. Foulkes on Groups led them to co-author "Group Psychotherapy: the Psychoanalytic Approach" considered to this day as the bible of group psychotherapy with many reprintings including one this year. As a testament to his lasting legacy and expertise, this spring, two books on the subject contain introductions by Dr. Anthony.
During his Presidency of the International Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions he formed study groups of colleagues from around the world to learn from various cultures about child development and childhood disorders. He initiated this work, led it, and arranged for funding. This effort was the basis of several of his books.
As AACAP President, he continued his commitment on international collaboration, with both a joint meeting in Mexico, and in leading two large groups to China on the brink of its opening to the West. He collaborated with future AACAP Presidents and co-led exchanges with the USSR. As a result of this effort, for the first time ever, the USSR sent researchers to participate in the AACAP’s annual meeting.
During his Presidency, he formed a study group to mentor, nurture, and support young researchers in the beginning studies of disaster and trauma. He was responsible for the first, of what would later be known as the Presidential Interview at the AACAP Annual Meeting when he interviewed Joan and Erik Erikson. His appointment to the Work Group on Consumer Issues led to the development of AACAP’s Facts for Families, which have been translated into multiple languages. During his Presidency, a successful offer was made to purchase our (AACAP’s) current headquarters.
He had a direct impact on many lives throughout his career and maintained a private practice until the age of 90 claiming “I’ve heard it all!” He was also a training analyst. He was a member of the British, St. Louis, Chicago, and Washington DC Psychoanalytic Societies. In 1995 he moved to Washington DC to become Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Chestnut Lodge Hospital.
He was married to Ethel Frances (Aust) until her death in 1983. They have four children, Sasha Tipper, PhD, Stephanie Rose, MD, Sonia Burnard, PhD, and Bruno Anthony, PhD, and eleven grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.
He was married for 30 years to Virginia Quinn Anthony, former executive director of AACAP, who with her son Justin Bausch, and her family and the Anthony family mourn this loss.
A memorial in the Spring of 2015 will pay tribute to him. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to AACAP designated to help establish an international fund in Dr. E. James Anthony’s name.
We will miss his brilliance, compassion, and generosity of spirit.