|Alfred Adler (1870-1937)
Alfred Adler was born on February 7, 1870 in the suburbs of Vienna. He was the second son and third child of a Jewish grain merchant and his wife. Alfred did not walk until he was four because he suffered from rickets. At the age of five, he almost died of pneumonia. These events are what motivated him to became a physician. Growing up, Alfred was a very outgoing, popular, and involved scholar. Like most teens, he was always trying to outdo his brother.
In 1895, Adler received his medical degree from University of Vienna. This is where he met his wife Raissa Timofeyewna Epstein. She was an intellectual and social activist from Russia. They married in 1897, had four children, and two would become psychiatrists.
He began his medical career as an opthamologists, later switching to general practice. He established his office across from an amusement park and circus in the lower class part of Vienna. Most his clients were circus performers. He studied their unusual strengths and weaknesses, and this gave him insights on his organ inferiority theory.
Later, Alfred turned to psychiatry and joined Freud's discussion groups in 1907. He wrote papers on organic inferiority. He also wrote a paper concerning aggression instinct and Freud did not approve. In addition, Alfred wrote a paper on children's feelings of inferiority. Which agreed with Freud's sexual notions. Freud named Adler president of Viennese Analytic Society co-editor of organization newsletter. In 1912, Adler and nine other members established The Society for Individual Psychology.
During WWI, Alfred was a physician for the Austrian Army at first he was on the Russian front and then moved to the children's hospital. He saw firsthand the damage war can do. After the war, he did various projects such as: clinics at a state school and training of teachers.
In 1926, Alfred came to the United States to lecture, he accepted a visiting position at Long Island College of medicine. He took his family and moved to the U.S. Austrian psychiatrist, Alfred Adler died of a heart attack while doing a series of lectures at Aberdeen University in Scotland.