Reference Entry

Erikson, Erik

Lawrence J. Friedman and James Carney

in American National Biography Online

Published in print January 1999 |
Published online February 2000 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697 | DOI:

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Erikson, Erik (15 June 1902–12 May 1994), psychoanalyst, author, and intellectual, was born near Frankfurt, Germany, the son of Karla Abrahamsen of Copenhagen and an unknown father. The story behind his name is complicated. He was initially named Erik Salomonsen, the surname being that of his mother’s first husband, who abandoned her during their honeymoon and was not Erik’s father. Karla later became pregnant by another man while still legally married to Salomonsen. The elders in the Abrahamsen family insisted that she leave Copenhagen to bear Erik on the outskirts of Frankfurt. When the boy was three and her first husband had died, leaving her technically a widow, she married Theodor Homburger, a prominent Karlsruhe, Germany, pediatrician active on the local synagogue council. Karla moved to Karlsruhe with her son, whose surname was changed to Homburger....

Reference Entry.  2503 words. 

Subjects: Psychology

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