Famous 20th Century Psychiatrists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Carl Jung

Carl Jung
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: July 26, 1875
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kesswil, Thurgau, Switzerland
Died: June 6, 1961

Widely regarded as the father of analytical psychology, Carl Jung is one of the most important contributors to symbolization and dream analysis. The concepts of socionics and a popular psychometric instrument called Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) were developed from Jung's theory. Apart from working as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Carl Jung was also an artist, craftsman, builder, and prolific writer.

 2 Viktor Frankl

Viktor Frankl
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: March 26, 1905
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Leopoldstadt, Vienna, Austria
Died: September 2, 1997

Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl founded logotherapy. He also authored several books, most notably his bestselling autobiographical depiction of his ordeal at various Nazi concentration camps, Man's Search for Meaning. He had lost his parents, brother, and wife in the Holocaust. He later won honors such as the Oskar Pfister Award.

 3 Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer
Famous As: Columnist
Birthdate: March 13, 1950
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: June 21, 2018

Best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning column in The Washington Post, Fox News commentator and political expert Charles Krauthammer was also a qualified psychiatrist. He was rendered paralyzed from the waist down at 22, after an accident while studying medicine at Harvard, but completed his degree nevertheless.

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 4 Frantz Fanon

Frantz Fanon
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: July 20, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Fort-de-France, Martinique, France
Died: December 6, 1961

Frantz Fanon was a French-West Indian born in Martinique, a former French colony. A skilled psychiatrist and physician, he realized the impact of colonialism on the human mind while treating French soldiers and Algerians. The author of books such as The Wretched of the Earth, Fanon supported the Algerian independence movement.

 5 John Money

John Money
Famous As: Former psychologist, sexologist and author known for his research into sexual identity and biology of gender and his conduct towards vulnerable patients
Birthdate: July 8, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Morrinsville, New Zealand
Died: July 7, 2006

 6 Jacques Lacan

Jacques Lacan
Famous As: Psychoanalyst, Psychiatrist
Birthdate: April 13, 1901
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 9, 1981
French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Jacques Lacan is remembered for his philosophical approach that explored Freudian concepts, to which he applied elements of structuralism and anthropology to create his own concepts. His controversial suggestions led to his expulsion from the International Psychoanalytic Association. One of his key concepts was “Return to Freud.”

 7 Radovan Karadžić

Radovan Karadžić
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: June 19, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Petnjica, Montenegro
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 8 Andrea Dotti

Andrea Dotti
Famous As: psychiatrist
Birthdate: March 18, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Naples
Died: September 30, 2007

Andrea Dotti was an Italian psychiatrist. He specialized in treating women with depression and was the assistant director of Rome University's psychiatric department. He was also a skier, tennis player, dancer, and art collector. He was married to famous actress Audrey Hepburn from 1969 to 1982, and the couple had one son. Dotti had several affairs during their marriage. 

 9 Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: July 8, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Zurich, Switzerland
Died: August 24, 2004

Best known for her pathbreaking bestseller On Death and Dying, Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross also made pioneering research in areas such as near-death studies. Her five stages of grief, or the Kübler-Ross model, has been adopted by corporates to help employees deal with loss and change.

 10 R. D. Laing

R. D. Laing
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: October 7, 1927
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Govanhill
Died: August 23, 1989

Psychiatrist R. D. Laing was known for his different perspective on mental illnesses, particularly psychosis. Known as anti-psychiatry, his theory of resolving mental ailments opposed the age-old shock therapy. His written works include The Divided Self. He was also a talented poet and had fathered 10 children by four women.

 11 Sabina Spielrein

Sabina Spielrein
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: October 25, 1885
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rostov-on-Don, Russian Empire
Died: August 11, 1942

Sabina Spielrein was a Russian physician who also worked as a psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and teacher during an illustrious professional career that spanned 30 years. A pioneer of psychoanalysis, Spielrein was the first person to bring in and popularize the concept of the death instinct. Sabina Spielrein was also one of the earliest psychoanalysts to study schizophrenia in detail. 

 12 Karen Horney

Karen Horney
Famous As: Psychoanalyst
Birthdate: September 16, 1885
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Blankenese, Hamburg, Germany
Died: December 4, 1952

Remembered for her pioneering work on feminist psychology, Karen Horney studied medicine at a time when women weren’t allowed in universities. Going against Sigmund Freud’s concept of penis envy, she suggested the idea of womb envy. She believed psychological differences weren’t rooted in gender but rather depended on the socio-cultural influences.

 13 Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Famous As: Psychologist, University teacher, Psychiatrist
Birthdate: September 29, 1934
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rijeka

 14 M. Scott Peck

M. Scott Peck
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: May 22, 1936
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: September 25, 2005

 15 Irvin D. Yalom

Irvin D. Yalom
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: June 13, 1931
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.

 16 Aaron T. Beck

Aaron T. Beck
Famous As: Psychiatrist, University teacher, Psychologist
Birthdate: July 18, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Providence

 17 Simon Baron-Cohen

Simon Baron-Cohen
Famous As: Psychologist, University teacher, Psychiatrist, Researcher
Birthdate: August 15, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London

British clinical-psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen is noted for making significant contributions in fields like autism-neuroimaging, autism-genetics, and synaesthesia, and his services to autistic people, for which he was knighted in the 2021 New Year Honours. He formulated mind-blindness theory and fetal-sex-steroid theory of autism and presently serves as a professor at the University of Cambridge and director of the university's Autism Research Centre.

 18 Thomas Szasz

Thomas Szasz
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: April 15, 1920
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: September 8, 2012

Hungarian-American psychiatrist Thomas Szasz, who spent most of life teaching at the State University of New York Health Science Center, was known for his controversial claim that mental illnesses aren’t illnesses at all. Part of the anti-psychiatry movement, he penned books such as The Myth of Mental Illness.

 19 Julienne Marie

Julienne Marie
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 21, 1933
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Toledo, Ohio, United States

 20 Milton H. Erickson

Milton H. Erickson
Famous As: Psychotherapist, Hypnotist, Hypnotherapist, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Writer
Birthdate: December 5, 1901
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Aurum
Died: March 25, 1980

 21 Frances Cress Welsing

Frances Cress Welsing
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: March 18, 1935
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: January 2, 2016

 22 Karl Jaspers

Karl Jaspers
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: February 23, 1883
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Oldenburg, Germany
Died: February 26, 1969

Twentieth-century Existentialist Karl Jaspers had initially followed in his father’s footsteps to study law, but had then switched to medicine. One of the pioneers of clinical psychiatry, he applied phenomenology to study mental illnesses and also developed psychopathological research. He was highly influenced by Immanuel Kant’s ideas.

 23 Nawal El Saadawi

Nawal El Saadawi
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 27, 1931
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kafr Tahlah, Egypt

 24 Sidney Gottlieb

Sidney Gottlieb
Famous As: Chemist, Psychiatrist
Birthdate: August 3, 1918
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City
Died: March 7, 1999

Sidney Gottlieb was an American spymaster and chemist who played a major role in the CIA's mind-control program and assassination attempts during the 1950s and 1960s; the illegal human experimentation program which he headed was called Project MKUltra.

 25 Bruno Bettelheim

Bruno Bettelheim
Famous As: Writer, Psychologist, University teacher, Psychiatrist
Birthdate: August 28, 1903
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: March 13, 1990
Austrian-American psychologist Bruno Bettelheim is remembered for his work on child psychiatry and autism. While he initially looked after his family’s lumber business, he was later imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps, before escaping to the U.S. Following his suicide, it was revealed that he had faked his academic credentials.

 26 Eric Kandel

Eric Kandel
Famous As: Neurologist, Psychiatrist, Neuroscientist, Psychologist, Biochemist
Birthdate: November 7, 1929
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna

Nobel Prize-winning neurobiologist Eric Kandel is known for his research on the role of synapses in memory and learning. An Austrian Jew, he left his country with his family and moved to the U.S. in the wake of anti-Semitism. A doctor, specializing in psychiatry, he later taught at Columbia University.

 27 Ron Dellums

Ron Dellums
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: November 24, 1935
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Oakland, California, U.S.
Died: July 30, 2018

 28 Félix Guattari

Félix Guattari
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: April 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Villeneuve-les-Sablons, France
Died: August 29, 1992

 29 Arthur M. Sackler

Arthur M. Sackler
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: August 22, 1913
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: May 26, 1987

 30 Ian Stevenson

Ian Stevenson
Famous As: Psychiatrist, Parapsychologist, University teacher
Birthdate: October 31, 1918
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Montreal
Died: February 8, 2007

Canadian-American psychiatrist and University of Virginia School of Medicine professor Ian Stevenson believed he had developed his love for the paranormal from his mother, who maintained a well-stocked library on theosophy. His studies included unearthing children’s past life memories. He also penned books such as Reincarnation and Biology.

 31 Theodore Dalrymple

Theodore Dalrymple
Famous As: Journalist, Psychiatrist, Conspiracy theorist, Writer, Non-fiction writer
Birthdate: October 11, 1949
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London

Anthony Malcolm Daniels, better known by his pseudonym, Theodore Dalrymple, has worked as a physician in many African countries, such as Tanzania and Zimbabwe. The retired consultant psychiatrist and prison doctor is now known for his social and culture critiques in City Journal and other publications.

 32 Mohan Agashe

Mohan Agashe
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: July 23, 1947
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bhor, India

Mohan Agashe is an Indian actor and psychiatrist. Best known for his work in the fields of psychopharmacology and clinical psychology, Agashe played a major role in founding the Maharashtra Institute of Mental Health. As an actor, Mohan Agashe has won many prestigious awards, such as the Sahitya Akademi Award, Thespo Lifetime Achievement Award, and Filmfare Best Villain Award.

 33 Stanislav Grof

Stanislav Grof
Famous As: Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Writer, Physician
Birthdate: July 1, 1931
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Prague

 34 Nora Volkow

Nora Volkow
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: March 27, 1956
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mexico City

Mexican-born Nora Volkow studied medicine in her country, before moving to New York University, where she became a Laughlin Fellow. Now the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, she was the first to prove that drug abuse is a brain disease. She was featured at TEDMED 2014.

 35 Irmfried Eberl

Irmfried Eberl
Famous As: Physician, Psychiatrist
Birthdate: September 8, 1910
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bregenz
Died: February 16, 1948

Best known for leading the mass killing of Jews at the Treblinka extermination camp, psychiatrist Irmfried Eberl was eventually dismissed from his post because of his inefficiency in disposing of the bodies and thus causing a cremation backlog. Following the war, he hanged himself before being tried for his crimes.

 36 Otto F. Kernberg

Otto F. Kernberg
Famous As: Psychiatrist, Psychanalyst, University teacher, Non-fiction writer, Psychologist
Birthdate: September 10, 1928
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna

After fleeing to Chile with his family during the Nazi regime, Otto F. Kernberg studied medicine and then psychiatry. He eventually moved to the U.S. on a Rockefeller fellowship and grew up to be one of the finest psychoanalysts of the country. He now teaches at the Weill Cornell Medicine.

 37 Suzanne Mallouk

Suzanne Mallouk
Famous As: Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst and Painter
Birthdate: September 10, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Orangeville, Ontario, Canada

Suzanne Mallouk ran away from her Canada home and moved to New York, where she took up odd jobs to finance her art career. She supported a penniless Jean-Michel Basquiat grow into a wealthy artist and became a muse for his paintings. She later became a practicing psychiatrist.

 38 Marie Bashir

Marie Bashir
Famous As: Engineer, Psychiatrist, Physician, University teacher
Birthdate: December 1, 1930
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Narrandera

Marie Bashir created history when she became the first female governor of New South Wales. A doctor, too, she was initially associated with children’s hospitals and later focused on psychiatry. She also worked for the mentally ill and homeless people from the Aboriginal community of Australia.

 39 Margaret Mahler

Margaret Mahler
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: May 10, 1897
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sopron, Hungary
Died: October 2, 1985

 40 Sergei Lukyanenko

Sergei Lukyanenko
Famous As: Science fiction writer
Birthdate: April 11, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Karatau, Kazakhstan

Author Sergei Lukyanenko is also a qualified psychotherapist and child psychiatrist, though he has premanently quit medicine for writing. Known for his gripping science-fiction and fantasy books such as Labyrinth of Reflections, he also redefined the genre of urban fantasy with the Night Watch series, which inspired a hit film.

 41 Alex Comfort

Alex Comfort
Famous As: Physician, Writer, University teacher, Psychiatrist
Birthdate: February 10, 1920
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London
Died: March 26, 2000

Best known for his world-renowned bestselling sex manual The Joy of Sex and its equally successful follow-up books, British physician Alex Comfort had earned the nickname “Dr. Sex.” He had also written extensively on aging. He had apparently lost his left hand, except his thumb, in a gunpowder experiment.

 42 Axel Munthe

Axel Munthe
Famous As: Medical Doctor
Birthdate: October 31, 1857
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Oskarshamn, Sweden
Died: February 11, 1949

 43 Jean Tatlock

Jean Tatlock
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: February 21, 1914
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Died: January 4, 1944

 44 David Servan-Schreiber

David Servan-Schreiber
Famous As: Neuroscientist and psychiatrist
Birthdate: April 21, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Died: July 24, 2011

 45 W. H. R. Rivers

W. H. R. Rivers
Famous As: Anthropologist
Birthdate: March 12, 1864
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chatham, Kent, England
Died: June 4, 1922

English anthropologist and psychologist W. H. R. Rivers is best remembered for his work on the Todas of the Nilgiri Hills. A qualified physician, he also taught at Cambridge and worked extensively on medical psychology. One of his best-known works is Kinship and Social Organisation.

 46 Joseph Wolpe

Joseph Wolpe
Famous As: Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist, Psychologist, University teacher
Birthdate: April 20, 1915
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Johannesburg
Died: December 4, 1997

South African psychiatrist Joseph Wolpe, a leading figure in behaviour therapy, is noted for his reciprocal inhibition methods, especially for developing systematic desensitization. He also developed Subjective Units of Disturbance Scale and created Fear Survey Plan and Subjective Anxiety Scale. He was ranked as the 53rd most-cited psychologist of the twentieth-century in a 2002 survey of Review of General Psychology.

 47 Karl Deisseroth

Karl Deisseroth
Famous As: Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry
Birthdate: November 18, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

 48 Robert Spitzer

Robert Spitzer
Famous As: psychiatrist, non-fiction writer, university teacher
Birthdate: May 22, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: White Plains
Died: December 25, 2015

 49 Dino Risi

Dino Risi
Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: December 23, 1916
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: June 7, 2008

 50 Ernst Kretschmer

Ernst Kretschmer
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: October 8, 1888
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wüstenrot, Germany
Died: February 8, 1964

German psychiatrist Ernst Kretschmer believed that mental illnesses and personality traits could be linked to the types of bodies people possess. He treated hysteria patients as a military doctor in World War I. Though he opposed the Nazi regime, he stayed in Germany throughout World War II.