Harry Stack Sullivan was born in Norwich, New York, and grew up on a farm in Smyrna. Originally interested in physics, he turned to medicine and psychiatry, entering the Chicago College of Medicine and Surgery in 1913 and receiving his degree in 1917. Following World War I, Sullivan dealt with war veterans disabled by neuropsychiatric conditions and was a psychiatrist in the Public Health Institute from 1921 to 1922. In 1925 he became director of clinical research at Sheppard-Pratt hospitals in Baltimore and associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Maryland. Throughout his career he pursued his interest in schizophrenia. He left Sheppard-Pratt in 1930 and went into private practice, treating obsessionals and schizophrenics and supervising other analysts. Conceptions of Modern Psychiatry (1940) was originally published as articles in the periodical Psychiatry, of which Sullivan was an editor. He contributed greatly to the understanding of schizophrenia and obsessional states. As head of both the William Alanson White Foundation (1934--43) and of the Washington School of Psychiatry (1936--47), he brought to public and professional attention his view that psychoanalysis needed to be supplemented by a thoroughgoing study of the impact of cultural forces on the personality.