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RICHARD M. HELD


1922 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
RICHARD M. HELD Obituary
HELD, Richard M. Pioneering Brain Scientist at MIT Richard M. Held, MIT Neuroscientist, died on November 22, 2016 in Northampton, MA. Born in Manhattan in 1922, Held attended Stuyvesant High School, and received a BS in Engineering from Columbia University. After serving as a Radar Officer in the U.S. Navy aboard an aircraft carrier during WWII, he studied gestalt psychology with Wolfgang Kohler at Swarthmore College and obtained his PhD in Experimental Psychology from Harvard in 1952. He was subsequently named Chair of the recently formed Psychology Department at Brandeis University. In 1962 he moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was named Chair of the Department of Psychology and Brain Science 1977. Held is recognized internationally for his trailblazing work in human perception. The recipient of three honorary degrees, numerous international awards and a fellowship at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies under J. Robert Oppenheimer. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Additional information can be found on his eponymous website. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Doris Bernays Held, his three children, Lucas, Julia and Andrew, and two grandchildren, Caleb and Tye-Henry Martin. Donations in his memory may be made to Project Prakash, 955 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 351, Cambridge, MA 02139. A memorial service is planned for the spring in Cambridge.

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Published in The Boston Globe on Dec. 14, 2016
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