papers of john romano
John Romano (1908-1994) was the first Chairman of the Dept. of Psychiatry
at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, serving in
that capacity from 1946 until 1971. During the course of a career that spanned
nearly six decades, Dr. Romano played an influential role in American psychiatry
and in the development of medical and psychiatric education.
Biographical Data & Sources
John Romano was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 20 November 1908. He was
the son of Nicolo Vincenzo Romano (1873-1957), a native of Calabria, and of
Frances Louise (Notari) Romano (1886-1957), whose family was of Tuscan origin.
For most of his life, Nicolo Romano taught music at the Wisconsin College
of Music in Milwaukee. There his son attended public grammar school, Riverside
High School, and Marquette University, from which he received his B.S. in
1932. John Romano married Miriam Modesitt (1910-1989) in Milwaukee on 13 May
1933. They had one son, David Gilman Romano (b. 1946). John Romano suffered
a stroke and was admitted to Strong Memorial Hospital where he died on 19
Studies and Career
- 1932-1933 : Student extern in psychiatry in the Milwaukee County Asylum
for Mental Diseases.
- 1933-1934 : Intern in medicine at Milwaukee County Hospital.
- 1934 : John Romano received his medical degree from Marquette University
- 1934-1935 : Dr. Romano served as an intern and assistant resident in psychiatry
at Yale University School of Medicine Hospital.
- 1935-1938 : Commonwealth Fund Fellow in the Dept. of Psychiatry at the
University of Colorado School of Medicine, and Assistant Psychiatrist at
the Colorado Psychopathic Hospital (Denver).
- 1938-1939 : Received a Rockefeller Fellowship in Neurology at Boston City
- 1939-1942 : Sigmund Freud Fellow in Psychoanalysis at the Boston Psychoanalytic
Institute, Instructor in Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, and Associate
in Medicine (Psychiatry/Neurology) at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital.
- 1941 : was chosen to be Professor and Chairman of the Dept. of Psychiatry
at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and Director of the
Psychiatric Service in the Cincinnati General Hospital.
- 1942 : Assumed these duties.
- 1943-1944 : Consultant in Neurology and Psychiatry to the Eighth Service
Command of the United States Army.
- April through July 1945 : Served in Europe as a Special Consultant in
Psychiatry to the United States Army.
- 1946 : Appointed Chairman of the newly established Dept. of Psychiatry
at the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry. During
Dr. Romano's chairmanship Rochester became one of the premier psychiatric
departments in the nation, and was regarded as a national model for psychiatric
- 1949 : Supervised the construction of R-Wing, one of the first psychiatric
facilities in the nation to be built as an integral part of a university
- 1968 : was made Distinguished University Professor of Psychiatry and Chairman,
one of only two such appointments among Medical Center faculty.
Dr. Romano was involved in the work of numerous organizations, committees,
journals and foundations.
- 1946-1949: Served as general vice-chairman of the Advisory Board on Health
Services of the American Red Cross.
- 1946-1949: was a founding member of the National Advisory Mental Health
Council of the United States Public Health Service.
- 1949-1952: Served on the Training Committee on Psychiatry of the National
Institute of Mental Health.
- 1949-1954: Was member of the Board of Overseers Committee for the Harvard
- 1956-1961: Chaired the Mental Health Fellowship Grant Committee of the
- 1959-1961: Was a member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the National
- 1962: Was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
- 1981-1989: Was a member of the Board of Health for the National Academy
of Science's Institute of Medicine and served on numerous committees and
planning groups for the Ford Foundation, the American Medical Association,
the Association of American Medical Colleges, etc.
Back to Top