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Norman Q. Brill, M.D.

Professor of Psychiatry, Emeritus

Los Angeles



Professor Norman Q. Brill was a standard-setter for U.S. military psychiatric care and founding director of the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. Dr. Brill was professor emeritus of psychiatry at UCLA and a long-time consultant to the U.S. Army. He died at age 89 on April 8, 2001 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after a long illness.

As an Army colonel in World War II, Dr. Brill gained national prominence for his work as chief of psychiatry at Fort Bragg, N.C., and then as chief of psychiatry at the Office of the Surgeon General. His study of war-related psychosis and his follow-up of men discharged with psychoneurosis set a new standard for military psychiatry in the ensuing years.

Born in New York City on August 2, 1911, he received his B.S. from College of the City of New York in 1930 at the age of 19 and his M.D. from New York University School of Medicine in 1934 at the age of 23. Originally interested in a career in neurology, he switched to psychiatry, finishing his residency at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Prior to the war he practiced both psychiatry and neurology, directing the EEG laboratory at Montefiore Hospital. After his military service, he remained active in the military in a variety of roles while serving as chairman of neurology at Georgetown University.

At UCLA, Dr. Brill became the first chairman of psychiatry in 1953. He subsequently planned the development and funding of the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, which today ranks among the premier psychiatric clinical, research, and educational settings in the world. As founding director, he was involved in recruitment of faculty, creation of the teaching programs, and community relations.

Active in the professional community, Dr. Brill was the first president of the Benjamin Rush Society, a founding member and president of the American College of Psychoanalysts, and a fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists. He also was active in the Society of Medical Consultants to the Armed Forces.


His family and generations of his students and colleagues will miss Professor Norman Q. Brill.

Robert O. Pasnau