Dr. Morton Kramer, 84, authority on psychiatry

August 19, 1998|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Dr. Morton Kramer, one of the country's first mental health bio-statisticians and a world-renowned authority on scientific psychiatry while at the Johns Hopkins University, died Monday of cardiac arrest at Sinai Hospital.

Dr. Kramer, 84, of Pikesville was a professor in the School of Hygiene and Public Health at Hopkins from 1976 to 1984, and professor emeritus upon his retirement.

From 1949 to 1976, Dr. Kramer was chief of the biometrics division of the National Institute of Mental Health in Rockville. While there, he created a voluntary national reporting system on mental health problems that helps guide national policy on mental health.

One of his findings determined from the reporting system was that single and divorced people are more likely than married people to have mental health problems.

Those results, released in 1966, showed that first admission rates of unmarried people to mental institutions were "excessively high" when compared to the admission rates of married people.

"He was most instrumental in the application of biostatistics and epidemiology in research in prevention and control of mental disorders," said Ricky Fine, the Hopkins director of alumni affairs.

In 1977, Dr. Kramer was appointed to several task force panels of the President's Commission on Mental Health to identify the range and magnitude of mental health problems nationally.

Dr. Kramer received numerous awards for his work and research, including the Distinguished Service Award from the national Public Health Service; the Rema Lapouse Award from the American Health Association; the Health for All Award from the World Health Organization; and an award from Harvard University for his contributions to psychiatric epidemiology and biostatistics.

A Baltimore native, he graduated from City College in 1930 and received a bachelor's degree from Johns Hopkins in 1934. He earned his doctor of science degree in hygiene from the Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1939.

As a youth, he was a sports enthusiast. While at City College, he won the state boys tennis championship in 1929. In 1934, he was runner-up in the South Atlantic handball championship and the winner the following year.

He married Pauline Weinstein in 1939; she died in 1993.

Services are scheduled for 1 p.m. today at Sol Levinson Funeral Home, 8900 Reisterstown Road.

He is survived by three sons, Barry Kenneth Kramer of New York City, James Lawrence Kramer of Charlottesville, Va., and Richard Allan Kramer of Columbia; a daughter, Nancy Louise Parker of Valencia, Calif.; a brother, Charles Kramer of Atlanta; and two grandchildren.

Pub Date: 8/19/98

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.