HARRY STACK SULLIVAN, American psychiatrist, born (d: 1949); In the understanding of mental disorders, this influential psychiatrist believed that psychoanalysis, although essentially valid, needed to be supplemented by a thoroughgoing study of the impact of cultural forces upon the personality.

In the years following his death, recognition of his accomplishments was intentionally overlooked because of his homosexuality. Sullivan, however, is now acknowledged as the prime developer of the interpersonal approach to psychiatry and as one of the great American psychiatrists of the century. Forgotten, finally, is his great “sin.” In middle age, he adopted a fifteen-year-old male patient, with whom he lived as “father” and “son” for more than fifteen years.