Sanford I. Berman

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This article is about the philanthropist and hypnotist. For the librarian, see Sanford Berman.
Sanford I. Berman
Michael Dean, 1983.tif
Michael Dean performing in San Diego at Muscular Dystrophy Telethon
Born (1924-10-15)October 15, 1924
Virginia, Minnesota
Died June 16, 2015(2015-06-16) (aged 90)
Las Vegas, Nevada
Occupation Philanthropist, Real Estate Investor, Hypnotist

Dr. Sanford I. Berman (aka Dr. Michael Dean) was a philanthropist, real estate investor, professional hypnotist, and board member of the Institute of General Semantics. As of the year 2000, Berman had given more than a million dollars to the University of California, San Diego (UCSD); San Diego State University (SDSU); and University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).[1] Berman endowed the Sanford I. Berman Institute for Effective Communication and General Semantics at SDSU in 1997, the Sanford I. Berman Chair in Language and Human Communication at UCSD in 1998, the Dr. Sanford I. Berman Professorship of Public Discourse and General Semantics at UNLV in 1999, and UNLV's Sanford I. Berman Debate Forum.[1]

Books by Berman include Words, Meanings and People, The Closed Mind, How to Lessen Misunderstandings, and Why Do We Jump to Conclusions?. Berman acted as editor for Logic and General Semantics [2] and with Irving Lee Language Habits in Human Affairs.[3] He has also created over 100 audio tapes on motivation and general semantics.[1]


The son of a livestock broker, Sanford I. Berman was born Oct. 15, 1924 in Virginia, Minnesota, a small town north of Duluth. He received his bachelor's degree in Radio and Communications from the University of Minnesota; a Master’s in Speech from Teacher’s College, Columbia University; and a doctorate in Speech Communications from Northwestern University, where he then assisted Dr. Irving J. Lee in his famous general-semantics classes.[4] Berman has served as president of the International Society for General Semantics, and on the Board of Trustees of both the Society and the Institute of General Semantics.[5] Dr. Berman died June 16, 2015. [6] [7]

Stage hypnosis[edit]

Dr. Michael Dean, Hypnotist, performs at a Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy, San Diego, 1984

Berman learned hypnosis during his days as a graduate student and became a night club hypnotist for over 30 years in San Diego and then Las Vegas. Berman also produced educational cassettes on how to practice self-hypnosis. In addition to making appearances on Hugh Hefner’s television show Playboy Penthouse and on Sunnup with Frank Herman, Berman hypnotized and advised Ken Norton, one of the few boxers to defeat Muhammad Ali.[8]


  1. ^ a b c Russell, Charles G. (2000). "Effective Generosity." ETC A Review of General Semantics, 57, 2, Summer, 2000, p. 223-226.
  2. ^ Berman, Sanford (1989). Logic and General Semantics: Writings of Oliver L. Reiser and Others. International Society for General Semantics: U.S.
  3. ^ Lee, Irving (1941) Language Habits in Human Affairs. Harper and Row: New York.
  4. ^ Sauer, Mark (1999). Trance Encounters: Nightclub Mesmerism Made Dr. Dean a Fortune. The San Diego Union-Tribune January 17, p. D1.
  5. ^ Kodish, Bruce (2003). Introduction to Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture.
  6. ^ Union-Tribune, San Diego. "Sanford Berman, hypnotist 'Dr. Michael Dean,' 90". Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  7. ^ "Passings: Northwestern Magazine - Northwestern University". Retrieved 2016-10-28. 
  8. ^ Norton, Ken; Terrill, Marshall; Fitzgerald, Mike (2000). Going the Distance: The Ken Norton Story Sports Publishing Inc:

External links[edit]