Marvin Reznikoff

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Reznikoff, Marvin
Marvin Reznikoff, an important figure in the mental health community and a widely-published psychologist who mentored over 80 doctoral candidates - a school record - during his 40-year tenure at Fordham University, died at 88 on June 20 here, where he had lived for almost 50 years.
The cause was a cerebral hemorrhage.
Dr. Reznikoff, who was Jewish, was affectionately known at the Jesuit-run school as St. Marvin because of his close relationship with his students and his tireless mentoring. At a dinner in his honor at Fordham in 2009 where the Marvin Reznikoff Endowed Scholarship was announced, he was introduced as a "true man for others."
His memorial service yesterday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Old Greenwich was attended by dozens of his former students, many of whom are prominent in the mental health field. A military honor guard there paid tribute to his World War II service, when he led a flame-throwing platoon on the island of Saipan in the Pacific.
Dr. Reznikoff wrote seven books, all of them on psychological testing and assessment, including three with his colleague Edward Aronow on Rorschach tests, about which he was considered one of the world's experts.
Prior to his long career at Fordham, where he served as chair of the psychology department for four years and was director of the clinical training program, Dr. Reznikoff was director of clinical psychology at the Institute of Living, one of the oldest mental health centers in the country. He was an attending psychologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital and a longtime clinical consultant for the State of Connecticut. He served, from 1963-1964, as the first president of the Connecticut Psychological Association. For many years Dr. Reznikoff supervised group and individual psychotherapy sessions at the Du Bois Day Treatment Center in Stamford. His wife of 35 years, Linda (Stapleton), who survives him, was a psychiatric nurse there.
Marvin Reznikoff was born in the Bronx on May 11, 1925, the only child of Eastern European immigrants Fannie and Jack Reznikoff. He was a brilliant student at Bronx High School of Science and at City College in Manhattan. He began college as an engineering student, and was deferred from military service. But at 19 he left college and enlisted in the Army. He was stationed for some 18 months on Saipan, rising to the rank of staff sergeant, in charge of a flame-thrower platoon and, eventually, running the island's prison where he befriended several of the captured Japanese soldiers.
He returned to complete his bachelor's degree in psychology at City College and, then, his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at New York University. In 1954 he became a postdoctoral student at Yale University.
At Yale, he met his first wife, Helga (Rosenmann), a refugee from Nazi Germany who was the first female admitted to the graduate school of anthropology there. Their marriage ended in divorce.
In addition to Linda, Dr. Reznikoff is survived by his daughter Anne (Bratskeir), of Sands Point, New York, sons Alexander of Newtown, Connecticut and John of Wilton, stepdaughters, Melissa (Hoch) of Stamford and Victoria (Crowley) of Pittsburgh, and14 grandchildren.
Dr. Reznikoff and his wife had a summer home in Wellfleet, MA for many years. There, in August, when the psychologists are almost as plentiful as the lobsters, his front porch became a sort of salon for colleagues and students, fueled by Bloody Marys and Scotch Sours.
His family asked that contributions in his memory be made to The Marvin Reznikoff Scholarship at Fordham, c/o Valerie Longwood, Fordham University, 888 Seventh Avenue, 7th floor, New York, NY 10019.

Published in StamfordAdvocate on June 26, 2013
Arrangements under the direction of:
Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home
2900 Summer Street | Stamford, CT 069054304 | (203) 327-1313
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