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Saul Grossman, Class of 1939


It is with great sadness that we share the news that Saul Grossman, class of 1939 passed away on October 11, 2011. Saul Grossman was a past President of the Townsend Harris Alumni Association and continued to support the Association and the school after he moved to California.

Dr. Grossman passed away at home in Laguna Woods, California. Survivors include his beloved wife of 68 years, Rosalind; three children Rena (Paul) Cadro of Brooklyn, CT; David (Fran) of Brooklyn, NY; and Allan (Gail) Grossman of Knoxville, TN; four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Dr. Grossman was born 90 years ago in Uman, Ukraine to Nathan and Dr. Sarah Cogan Grossman and raised in NYC. Saul was a graduate of CCNY and received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Yeshiva University of the Albert Einstein School of Medicine, but was most proud to have graduated from Townsend Harris High School in NYC. In 2006, he was given their Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Grossman served in World War II. Returning from the European Theater of Operations in 1946 he returned to school to complete his education. His professional career included a private practice in New York state as well as a career with the Department of Mental Health, working at Bronx State Hospital where he ran the first state hospital internship program. He then transferred to Manhattan Psychiatric Center as chief psychologist where he worked until his retirement. His doctoral thesis was "A Study of the Relationship Between Humor and Individual Problem Areas." He would elicit a patient's favorite joke as a diagnostic tool. Dr. Grossman was recruited by Cambridge University in the UK as a visiting professor in 1971-72 where his experience with psychosomatic illness, a novel idea at the time, was introduced to England's general practitioners. Saul's other professional affiliations were with NYU, Columbia University, Fordham University and others.