Seymour Bernard Sarason was born on Jan 12, 1919, in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn to poor Jewish immigrant parents, Maxwell and Anna (Silverlight) Sarason. He grew up in Newark, NJ, with his brother, Irwin, and sister, Mildred. He contracted polio in high school, and wrote to President Franklin D. Roosevelt (who also had polio) with the encouragement of his mother. To the family’s surprise, Roosevelt responded to the request for help by making arrangements for treatment that the family could not otherwise afford. Dr. Sarason made an almost complete recovery, but the experience of disability caused him to become an advocate of the less fortunate and to recognize social context as critical factors in determining or impacting one’s potential.
Seymour Sarason earned his BA from Dana College in Newark (now Rutgers University) in 1939. He was granted his master’s degree in 1940 from Clark University and his doctorate in clinical psychology in 1942 from the same...
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