country of citizenship:
United States of America
language of expression: English
educated at: King's College London
occupation: psychologist, psychiatrist, writer
Fredric Wertham (; born Friedrich Ignatz Wertheimer, March 20, 1895 – November 18, 1981) was a German-American psychiatrist and author. Wertham had an early reputation as a progressive psychiatrist who treated poor black patients at his Lafargue Clinic when mental health services for blacks were uncommon due to racialist psychiatry. Wertham also authored a definitive textbook on the brain, and his institutional stressor findings were cited when courts overturned multiple segregation statutes, most notably in Brown v. Board of Education.
Despite this, Wertham remains best known for his concerns about the effects of violent imagery in mass media and the effects of comic books on the development of children. His best-known book is Seduction of the Innocent (1954), which asserted that comic books caused youth to become delinquents. Besides Seduction of the Innocent, Wertham also wrote articles and testified before government inquiries into comic books, most notably as part of a U.S. Congressional inquiry into the comic book industry. Wertham's work, in addition to the 1954 comic book hearings led to creation of the Comics Code, although later scholars cast doubt on his observations.
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