Cal State L.A. - Public Affairs Office News Release - Solomon Diamond's obit

 

08/06/98 
 

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Cal State L.A.'s First Outstanding Professor
Award Recipient Remembered

Los Angeles, CA - August 6, 1998 - Berkeley resident Solomon Diamond, 91, recently passed away. Diamond was a professor emeritus (1971) at Cal State L.A. and one of the initial faculty (1949) who shaped the character and direction of the Department of Psychology at Cal State L.A. He held the unique distinction of being the first recipient of the Outstanding Professor Award from the Trustees of the California State Colleges in 1964.

Diamond was also a past president of Division 26, History of Psychology of the American Psychological Association, and a widely recognized scholar in the history of psychology who read in five languages with facility. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1936.

Demonstrating explemplary scholarship, Diamond spent one sabbatical period touring Europe to purchase almost 400 rare books that represented every work, free of second-hand accounts, that figured importantly in the history of psychology. These original sources became the basis for his lectures in the History of Psychology course that he taught for many years in the Psychology department.

Diamond's professional contributions which spanned more than 60 years were voluminous. His published books were Personality and Temperament (1957), Information and Error (1959), Inhibition and Choice (1963), The World of Probability: Statistics in Science (1964), and The Roots of Psychology (1974).

In addition, he was the author of innumerable journal articles and unpublished invited addresses. His son's comments describe it best... "He could argue passionately about the mistranslation of foreign language footnotes but also liked to paint the big picture, and his historical bent helped expand the study of the history of psychology beyond an original focus on the 19th century." His large library of rare books including many medieval texts has been donated to the Archives of the History of Psychology at the University of Akron.

"All of us at Cal State L.A. who had the good fortune to know Sol as teacher, colleague or friend will feel the loss of this valued member of our profession," says Michael Roffe, chair of the Psychology Department.

He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Florence, also a psychologist, as well as a son and grandchildren.

 

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