It is with profound sadness that the Board of Directors announces the sudden death of Dr. Kurt Salzinger, Past-President of EPA. Dr. Salzinger was killed after he and his wife, Dr. Deanna Chitayat, were knocked down on a New York subway platform by a hurried, unknown commuter. Dr. Salzinger was a distinguished behavioral psychologist, Senior Scholar-in-Residence and Professor Emeritus at Hofstra University and the Polytechnic University in N.Y. He was Executive Director for Science at the American Psychological Association from 2001 to 2003. He'd been President of the New York Academy of Sciences, served on the Board of Directors of the APA, and had been president of Divisions 1 (General Psychology) and 25 (Behavior Analysis), and of the American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology. Dr. Salzinger earned bachelor's, master's and PhD from Columbia University. He served as Principal Research Scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He was the recipient of many awards including the Sustained Superior Performance Award from the NSF, the Stratton Award from the American Psychopathological Association, and the Most Meritorious Article Award from the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry. In 2002 he was Presidential Scholar for the Association for Behavior Analysis. During his career, he wrote or co-wrote 14 books and more than 120 research articles and book chapters on animal and human behavior, including schizophrenia.
Dr. Salzinger was born in Vienna in 1929 and escaped with his parents and older brother as the Nazis marched into Austria in 1938. After an arduous journey of more than two years, the family traveled across Siberia to Japan. They then traveled by boat to Seattle before settling in New York. The family Dr. Salzinger left behind perished in the Holocaust. Those who knew him recall a scholar and gentleman who felt an obligation to stand up for what he believed was right, and that included raising his voice against intolerance, the rise of far-right politics in the United States and corporate dominance of American life. Dr. Salzinger was 89.