John Patrick Spiegel

John Paul Spiegel (March 17, 1911  – July 17, 1991) was an American psychiatrist, and expert on violence and combat stress and the 103rd President of the American Psychiatric Association (APA).[1][2] As president-elect of the APA in 1973, he helped to change the definition of homosexuality in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) which had previously described homosexuality as sexual deviance and that homosexuals were pathological.[3]

John Patrick Spiegel
BornMarch 17, 1911
DiedJuly 17, 1991
Parent(s)Lena Straus Spiegel
Modie Spiegel
FamilyPolly Spiegel Cowan (sister)
Joseph Spiegel (grandfather)
Alix Spiegel (granddaughter)


Spiegel was born in Chicago, Illinois, attended Dartmouth College and graduated in 1934. He received his medical degree in 1938 from Northwestern University School of Medicine. He later taught at the University of Chicago and Harvard University, and practiced medicine at Michael Reese Hospital.

During World War II, he served as a medical officer in the Army Air Corps. He joined the faculty of Brandeis University, where he headed the Lemberg Center for the Study of Violence from 1966 to 1979.

Personal lifeEdit

Spiegel was married to Babette Shiller (d.1975); they had four children: Adam Spiegel, Heli Spiegel Meltsner, Mamie Spiegel, and Polly Spiegel.[1] Spiegel's granddaughter is National Public Radio correspondent Alix Spiegel.[4] He died on July 17, 1991 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.



  1. ^ a b Joan Riddell Cook (July 19, 1991). "John P. Spiegel, 80, Expert on Violence And Combat Stress". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-07-20. John P. Spiegel, an expert on combat fatigue and urban violence, died on Wednesday at his home in Cambridge, Mass. He was 80 years old.
  2. ^ Heise, Kenan (July 19, 1991). "Dr. John P. Spiegel, 80". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-07-20. Dr. John P. Spiegel, 80, a retired Brandeis University faculty member and a nationally renowned social psychiatrist, conducted pioneer research on violence as part of war, the inner city and the family.
  3. ^ The story of the revision was revealed in a 2002 episode of the NPR radio series This American Life titled "81 Words".
  4. ^ "Alix Spiegel : NPR".