Jan 23, 2005 GOMBERG--Edith S. Lisansky, 85, (Ph.D. Yale '49) of Brooklyn, NY, has died peacefully at home in Ann Arbor, MI.
She was a questioning and iconoclastic achiever and a role model to all who knew her. A pioneer in the study of alcoholism, she
served on the faculties of Yale, Rutgers and the Universities of Puerto Rico and Michigan. She married twice and leaves five
January 23, 2005 Edith Silverglied Lisansky Gomberg, PhD, Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, emerita, died
peacefully in her sleep at home in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Sunday January 9, 2005 at the age of 85. Born in Brooklyn,
she was an achiever and iconoclast, a scholar and researcher with well-considered and clearly expressed views
rooted in reality though usually tempered with tact. Schooled at a time when women were neither expected, nor
sometimes permitted, to achieve academic status, she earned a BA in Psychology from Brooklyn College at 18, an MA
from Columbia at 20 and a PhD from Yale at 29. Once a young Socialist, she became a staunch Republican in a
Democrat-dominated town. A liberated woman, she once told a women’s audience that she would have preferred to
have had more children.
Professor Gomberg entered the alcohol field when it was on the cusp of scientific respectability and joined the staff
of the Yale Center of Alcohol Studies, the first academic research center on alcohol in the United States. She
continued her work at the Center when it moved to Rutgers and was a leading authority on alcoholism and women.
From 1968 to 1971 she thoroughly enjoyed teaching at the Department of Psychology at the University of Puerto Rico
where Dr. Gomberg further developed her long lasting interest in ethnicity. She joined the University of Michigan
Institute of Gerontology after moving to Ann Arbor in the early 1970s and expanded her interests to include alcohol
and aging. At Michigan she also held positions at the Institute for Social Research, the School of Social Work and the
Alcohol Research Center. In addition, Edith Gomberg worked at various times for the Veterans’ Administration and as
a clinical psychologist involved in testing and child development. She was an author and editor of more than 175
scientific publications and books, gave many invited lectures and was the recipient of numerous awards. She was an
inspiring teacher and an imaginative and original researcher. The fields she worked in are richer and more rigorous
as a result of her efforts; she continued working, writing and editing, although less intensively due to illness, to the
day she died.
Edith married twice, latterly to Dr. Henry J. Gomberg, teacher and tireless researcher in the field of the peacetime
uses of nuclear energy. They traveled widely and in style until his death in 1995 and had friends and associates in
many fields all over the world. She is survived by three children and two step-children. Although Edith preferred a
typewriter to a computer, a memorial website has been created at www.edithgomberg.com for all to visit and add
written contributions for a memorial publication. Contributions to establish an academic award in her honor may be
made to the Research Society on Alcoholism (www.rsoa.org), designated to the “Edith Gomberg Fund.”
Click the link below to read an obituary of Edith published in the British medical journal The Lancet.
Click here to download and view The Lancet obituary. It is a 140kb .pdf file, so you will need Adobe
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