Alexander C. Rosen
Professor of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, Emeritus
UC Los Angeles
1923 – 2007
Alex Rosen was born on February 2, 1923, in White Memorial Hospital in what was then called Boyle Heights. His father had immigrated from Russia and his mother from Romania in the early 1900’s. He grew up largely in Lankershim, now North Hollywood, when the area was mostly apricot and walnut orchards, and he died not far from there, in Sherman Oaks on February 28, 2007.
Beginning his academic career at UCLA in 1956 as an assistant professor-in-residence and assistant research psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry, in the School of Medicine, Alex worked initially in the alcoholism clinic located in Quonset huts on the LeConte Avenue edge of campus before the original Neuropsychiatric Institute (NPI) structures were built. He ultimately attained his full professorship in 1979, probably the proudest day of his life, aside from his marriage to Susan and the births of his three daughters. He served as chief of Psychological Services from 1958 until his retirement in 1989.
Alex was deeply invested in the training of all students who flowed through the halls of the NPI, but naturally, his psychology interns were his most beloved. His interest in group dynamics led to involvement in the National Training Laboratories and to becoming both staff and program coordinator of the Sensitivity Training Programs in the UCLA Graduate School of Business Administration. He chaired the Group Dynamics Training Course for undergraduate medical students and was on the board of the Los Angeles Group Psychotherapy Training Institute. Alcoholism and gender identity were two of his primary areas of research and publication. He also served as president of the California State Psychological Associate from 1978 to 1979.
Both before and after attaining emeritus status, Alex served on many Academic Senate committees and boards of professional and civic organizations.
In February 2000, Alex was diagnosed with probable Alzheimer’s disease, and indeed, it was the progression of that disease, with accompanying cardiac difficulties that ultimately led to his death. However, while he lived, he did so with zest and enthusiasm. He loved UCLA as well as UC Berkeley, which he always referred to as the “the mother church”, and from which he received his A.B. in 1946 and his Ph.D. in psychology in 1953.
Alex will be remembered for his strong and positive leadership and for his many outstanding contributions to the discipline of psychology.