Murray, Henry A. (Henry Alexander), 1893-1988

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Henry A. Murray (1893-1988) American psychologist and Harvard professor, was a pioneer in the development of personality theory. He was professor of Clinical Psychology at Harvard from 1927 until his retirement in 1962. He was also a central figure in the Department of Social Relations, which existed from 1946 to 1972, and a notable member of the Melville Society.

From the description of Papers of Henry A. Murray, 1925-1988 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 76977365

Murray consulted about doctors for both Van Wyck and Kenyon Brooks at various times.

From the description of Correspondence to Van Wyck Brooks, [Between 1915 and 1963]. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 182621163

Correspondence to Lewis Mumford from Henry Alexander Murray and his wife, Nina Murray.

From the description of Letters, 1928-1979, n.d., to Lewis Mumford. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 155873228

Henry A. Murray (1893-1988) American psychologist and Harvard professor, was a pioneer in the development of personality theory.

Henry Alexander Murray was born in New York City on May 13, 1893 and died in Cambridge, Massachusetts on June 23, 1988. He was educated at Groton and Harvard College where he concentrated in history and graduated in 1915. He married Josephine Rantoul of Boston in 1916. She joined him in New York where he completed his M.A. in biology and M.D. at Columbia Medical School. Murray received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Cambridge University in 1927 and accepted an assistantship to Morton Prince at the Harvard Psychological Clinic. Murray became interested in psychology through reading Carl G. Jung's Psychological Types in 1923 and meeting Jung for three weeks in Switzerland in 1925. His interest was spurred on by his acquaintance with Christiana Drummond Morgan, an artist who shared his fascination with Jung, the unconscious and the writings of Herman Melville. This passionate relationship continued in balance with his marriage throughout his life.

At the Harvard Psychological Clinic Murray learned to practice psychoanalysis under the supervision of Hanns Sachs. He headed up a research program which published Explorations in Personality, (Murray ed., et. al.), 1938. In 1938 he was asked by the U.S. Government to put together a psychological profile on Adolph Hitler. During the second World War he served the U.S. Army by helping the forerunner of the CIA assess the psychological fitness of its agents. Murray became a tenured lecturer at Harvard in 1947 and Professor of Clinical Psychology in 1951. From 1948-1952, with the help of Morgan and others, he developed the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), which could be used to assess an individual's personality and self-understanding. Murray was a central figure in the interdisciplinary Department of Social Relations. He retired from Harvard in 1962, six months after his wife's death. Murray's energy continued as he kept up his research and married Caroline "Nina" Fish, Co-Director of the Psycho-educational Clinic at Boston University's School of Education.

Murray's main interest included personology, Melville and the welfare of the world in the atomic age. In his Basic Concepts for a Psychology of Personality, ( Journal of Psychology, 15, 1936), he described personology as "the disciplined study of human nature." This included studying individual memory, thought and action and their development over time, studying the integration of a person's inner outer life, their likes, dislikes, feelings and fears, and categorizing elements which contribute to an enduring life-long disposition, both professional and vocational. Murray published several articles on Melville's life and works and drafted a biography of Melville. He was considered by the Melville Society to be one of the scholars to bring about the Melville revival in the 1920's. His connection with the Society continued into his final years. The dawning of the atomic age concerned Murray, who considered the world to be in a state of "global neurosis." He argued for a democratic world government and a radical conversion of personalities so that the world be a safer place to live. He hoped that a synthesis of universal myths, truths and wisdom could turn the situation around.

Henry A. Murray was a renegade in his field in that, despite his extensive medical and scientific background, he maintained a disdain for scientism in psychology. He saw the study of personality as the study of human lives. He was a charismatic character who attracted many followers, both students and colleagues. A biography has been written by Forrest G. Robinson entitled Love's Story Told: A Life of Henry A. Murray .

From the guide to the Papers of Henry A. Murray, 1925-1988, (Harvard University Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Harvard University Archives Photograph Collection: Portraits, oversize, ca. 1829-1985 Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn Frances G. Wickes Papers, 1896-1996, (bulk 1913-1968) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Papers, 1920-1995. Houghton Library.
referencedIn William B. Provine collection of evolutionary biology reprints, 20th century. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
creatorOf Murray, Henry A. (Henry Alexander), 1893-1988. Papers of Henry A. Murray, 1925-1988 (inclusive). Harvard University, Archives
creatorOf Murray, Henry A. (Henry Alexander), 1893-1988. Repressed aggression tests. Harvard University, Murray Research Center
referencedIn Erik H. and Joan M. Erikson papers, 1925-1985 (inclusive) 1960-1980 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Howe, Helen, 1905-1975. Papers, 1872-1975 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Harvard University Archives Photograph Collection: Portraits, ca. 1852-ca. 2004 Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn Cohn, Alfred E. (Alfred Einstein), 1879-1957. Papers, 1920-1954. Rockefeller Archive Center, Rockefeller University, Pocantico Hills
creatorOf Murray, Henry A. (Henry Alexander), 1893-1988. Letters, 1928-1979, n.d., to Lewis Mumford. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Merrill Moore Papers, 1904-1979, (bulk 1928-1957) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Murray, Henry A. (Henry Alexander), 1893-1988. Correspondence to Van Wyck Brooks, [Between 1915 and 1963]. University of Pennsylvania Library
referencedIn Stephen Schlein Erik Erikson papers, 1944-1994. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Wickes, Frances G. (Frances Gillespy), 1875-1967. Frances G. Wickes papers, 1896-1996 (bulk 1913-1968). Library of Congress
creatorOf Greer, Ina May, 1902-1981. Papers, 1905?-1994 bulk 1972-1976. Boston Athenaeum
referencedIn John Collier papers, 1910-1987 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Erik H. and Joan M. Erikson papers, 1925-1985 (inclusive) 1960-1980 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf Murray, Henry A. (Henry Alexander), 1893-1988. Correspondence with Margaret Naumburg, 1946. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Murray, Henry A. (Henry Alexander), 1893-1988. Multiform assessments of personality development among gifted college men. Harvard University, Murray Research Center
creatorOf Mumford, Lewis, 1895-1990. Correspondence with Van Wyck Brooks, 1921-1964. University of Pennsylvania Library
creatorOf Moore, Merrill, 1903-1957. Papers of Merrill Moore, 1904-1979 (bulk 1928-1957). Library of Congress
referencedIn Papers, 1872-1975 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Papers of Roger W. Brown, 1954-1997 Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn Collier, John, 1884-1968. John Collier papers, 1910-1987 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Papers, 1925-1974. Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Center for the History of Medicine.
referencedIn Collier, John, 1884-1968. John Collier papers, 1910-1987 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Aiken, Conrad, 1889-1973. Papers of Conrad Aiken, 1851-1983, (bulk 1920-1970). Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn John Jay Chapman additional papers, 1841-1940. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Murray, Henry A. (Henry Alexander), 1893-1988. Correspondence, 1936-1976, from Lewis Mumford. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919. Letter : [Oyster Bay, N.Y.], to Henry A. Murray, 1917 Aug. 13. Boston Athenaeum
referencedIn Abraham Aaron Roback papers, 1909-1965. Houghton Library.
referencedIn C. G. Jung biographical archive, 1968-1973 (inclusive). Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
creatorOf Papers of Henry A. Murray, 1925-1988 Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn Correspondence, 1860-1979. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Morgan, Christiana. Papers, 1925-1974. Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
referencedIn Papers, 1806-1973 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Radcliffe College Archives biography files, 1855-2007 Radcliffe College Archives, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Papers, 1918-1993 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Murray, Henry A. (Henry Alexander), 1893-1988. Repressed aggression tests. Harvard University, Murray Research Center
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Adolph Hitler's person
associatedWith Aiken, Conrad, 1889-1973. person
associatedWith Brown, Roger, 1925- person
correspondedWith Chapman, John Jay, 1862-1933 person
associatedWith Clyde Kluckhohn person
associatedWith Cohn, Alfred E. (Alfred Einstein), 1879-1957. person
associatedWith Collier, John, 1884-1968. person
associatedWith Dan Mack person
associatedWith Department of Social Sciences corporateBody
associatedWith Edward Handy person
correspondedWith Erikson, Erik H. (Erik Homburger), 1902-1994 person
correspondedWith GRACE ELLERY (CHANNING) STETSON, 1862-1937 person
associatedWith Greer, Ina May, 1902-1981. person
associatedWith Harvard University corporateBody
associatedWith Helen Howe, 1905-1975 person
associatedWith Herman Melville, series 1 person
correspondedWith Hocking, William Ernest, 1873-1966 person
associatedWith Howe, Helen, 1905-1975. person
correspondedWith Levin, Harry, 1912-1994 person
associatedWith Melville, Herman, 1819-1891 person
associatedWith Merrill Moore person
associatedWith Moore, Merrill, 1903-1957. person
associatedWith Morgan, Christiana. person
associatedWith Morgan, Christiana. person
associatedWith Mumford, Lewis, 1895-1990. person
associatedWith Murray, Henry A. (Henry Alexander), 1893-1988 person
associatedWith Murray, Nina. person
associatedWith Paul A. Freund person
associatedWith Paul Herman Buck person
correspondedWith Provine, William B. person
associatedWith Radcliffe College. Henry A. Murray Research Center. corporateBody
correspondedWith Roback, A. A. (Abraham Aaron), 1890-1965 person
associatedWith Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919. person
correspondedWith Schlein, Stephen, collector. person
associatedWith Wickes, Frances G. (Frances Gillespy), 1875-1967. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Massachusetts--Cambridge
Subject
Psychology, Pathological
Thematic Apperception Test
Personality
Personality--Longitudinal studies
College students--Psychology--Longitudinal studies
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1893-05-13

Death 1988-06-23

English

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