Obituary of Lawrence Pervin
Lawrence A. Pervin died of esophageal cancer on June 23, 2016 at the age of 79. Dr. Pervin grew up in Borough Park, Brooklyn, and was a lifelong Brooklyn Dodgers fan. He attended Brooklyn College from 1953 until 1957, when he transferred to Queens College where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1957 and was the recipient of the Robert S. Woodworth Medal in Psychology. He met Barbara (Bobbie) there and they married in 1958. He received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Harvard University in 1962 after interning at the Boston VA Hospital.
In 1962 Larry and Bobbie came to Princeton, joined by their son David. Larry was a psychologist at the Princeton University Health Services and a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology. While there he conducted the initial program in student evaluation of courses, departments, and the entire undergraduate program. During this time Levi was born. In 1968 Dr. Pervin became Associate Dean at Livingston College, a new unit of Rutgers University, responsible for all aspects of undergraduate life. Upon the graduation of the initial class of students in 1973, Dr. Pervin became a Professor of Psychology at Livingston, from which he retired as Professor Emeritus in 2004.
Dr. Pervin was the author or editor of eight books, one or another was subsequently translated into eight foreign languages. He was the founding editor of Psychological Inquiry, one of the leading journals in the field. His textbook on personality psychology has been in use for over 30 years and is now in its thirteenth edition. Throughout his professional career he also conducted a private practice in psychotherapy.
Following his retirement, Larry did volunteer work with the Red Cross and Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, served as a consultant to Princeton House, part of the Princeton Health Care System, and reflecting his fervent fandom, wrote and published A History of New York's Football Giants. He was a member of the Old Guard and attended many stimulating lectures at Princeton University.
As proud as he was of his many professional accomplishments, it was family that was especially important to him. He and his dearly loved wife of 58 years and their two dearly loved sons loved to travel. As a family they took many trips, including a cross-country trip that took them to many national parks and an excursion to Scandinavia and the Soviet Union. He and Bobbie took great pleasure in fulfilling her dream of visiting all seven continents.
Dr. Pervin is survived by Bobbie and their sons David and Levi, and their dog Riley. He is predeceased by his parents, Mary and Murray Pervin, his sister Anita Pervin, and his dear friends Van Becker, Ken Gould, Jerome Rose, and Irving Sigel. Donations can be made in his honor to Doctors Without Borders.
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