John P. Gray (psychiatrist)

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John P. Gray
John P. Gray circa 1880
John P. Gray circa 1880
Born(1825-08-06)August 6, 1825
DiedNovember 29, 1886(1886-11-29) (aged 61)
Alma materDickinson College
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

John Perdue Gray (Aug 6, 1825, Halfmoon Township (Pennsylvania) - Nov 29, 1886, Utica, New York) was an American psychiatrist at the forefront of biological psychiatric theory during the 19th century.[1]

He attended Dickinson College, then the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where he received his medical diploma in 1848.[2] He spent on year of further studies in Europe, then is a resident at Blockley Asylum in Philadelphia.[2] In 1850, Gray works in Utica Psychiatric Center in New York and superintendent in 1854, until his death in 1886.[2] He was also the editor of the American Journal of Insanity, the precursor to the American Journal of Psychiatry.

He was an psychiatric expert in the trial for the assassination of president James A. Garfield[2]

Gray believed that insanity was always due to physical causes and that the mentally ill should be treated as physically ill. He explained that mental illness can be affected by physical factors relating to an individual. He studied 3 such factors namely; diet, temperature and ventilation.[3]


Gray, John P. General Paresis, or Incomplete Progressive Paralysis. Albany, NY: Van Benthuysen, 1866.

Gray, John P. Insanity, its Dependence on Physical Disease. Utica, NY: Roberts, 1871.

Gray, John P. Insanity: its Frequency and Some of its Preventable Causes. Utica, NY, 1886.

Gray, John P. The United States vs. Charles J. Guiteau, Indicted for Murder of James A. Garfield, Twentieth President of the United States. Opinion of … on the Sanity of the Prisoner. Washington, 1882.


  1. ^ Kelly, Howard A.; Burrage, Walter L. (eds.). "Gray, John Perdue" . American Medical Biographies . Baltimore: The Norman, Remington Company.
  2. ^ a b c d Bio, 19th-Century Psychiatrists of Note,
  3. ^ Howard Atwood Kelly; Walter Lincoln Burrage (1920). American Medical Biographies. Norman, Remington Company. pp. 456–.