Harry Levinson

Harry Levinson

2012

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Obituary of Harry Levinson

Dr. Harry Levinson of Delray Beach, Fla., died Tuesday, June 26, 2012, at Hospice of Palm Beach County, Delray Beach. He was 90 years old. A Port Jervis native, Dr. Levinson was a renown organizational and industrial psychologist who used his unique skill to take psychological theory and knowledge and show how it applied to organizations. He spent his career helping leaders better understand how employees function in organizations and to use that understanding to help themselves and their organizations function both more effectively and more humanely. He described his philosophy of life as including: "a deep concern for my family; support of humanitarian causes; appreciation of the value of continuous learning; helping other people grow and develop; and believing in fair play and integrity, which is what a teacher is all about, and which is where I started." Dr. Levinson was the Chairman Emeritus of The Levinson Institute, Clinical Professor of Psychology Emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and the former head of the section on Organizational Mental Health of the Massachusetts Mental Health Center. He authored 23 books and numerous articles in professional publications. Dr. Levinson received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Emporia (Kansas) State University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. While coordinator of professional education at Topeka State Hospital from 1950 to 1953, Dr. Levinson played a key role in the dramatic and widely acclaimed reformation of the Kansas State Hospital System. In 1954, he created and for the next 14 years directed the Division of Industrial Mental Health of the Menninger Foundation. In 1968, he moved to the Harvard Graduate School of Business. That same year he established The Levinson Institute, which he led until his retirement in 1992. He lectured and consulted widely to business, academic and governmental organizations in the United States and abroad. Through his writing, his individual consultations and his seminars, Dr. Levinson influenced many chief executives and senior leaders in industry. He was a quiet, thoughtful, and dedicated psychologist whose experience, wisdom, and insights made a lasting impression on those with whom he worked. Dr. Levinson received many professional awards and honors. In 2000, he received the American Psychological Association Gold Medal for Life Achievement in the Application of Psychology. The Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology presented him with the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters in 2004. In the same year the Society of Consulting Psychology recognized him with the Society's Distinguished Service Award. He was past president of the American Board of Professional Psychology, past president of the Kansas Psychological Association, and former chairman of the Kansas Advisory Committee to the United States Civil Rights Commission. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II from 1942 - 1946. Dr. Levinson was born January 16, 1922 in Port Jervis, N.Y., the son of the late David and the late Gussie Nudell Levinson. Harry was married to Miriam Hazan Lewis, who survives him. Other survivors include: his brother, Sam and his wife, Joan, Potomac, MD; four children: Marc and his wife, Kay, Glen Ridge, NJ; Kathy and her wife, Naomi Fine, Palo Alto, CA; Anne, Seattle, WA; and Brian and his wife, Julie, Leawood, KS; eight grandchildren, two nephews and a niece. He was preceded in death by his sister, Mildred Littman, and his first wife, Roberta Freiman Levinson. There will be no visitation and funeral services will be private. Memorial contributions may be made to: The Harry and Miriam Levinson Scholarship at American Psychological Foundation, 750 First St, NE, Washington DC 20002 or The Harry Levinson Scholarship in Organizational Behavior at Emporia State University Foundation, 1500 Highland St. Emporia, Kansas 66801. Arrangements by GRAY-PARKER FUNERAL HOME, 100 E. Main St., Port Jervis, NY 12771 845.856.5191. For additional information, directions or to send a condolence note to the family visit www.grayparkerfuneralhome.com