Women’s History ~ Lillien J Martin


Dr Lillien J Martin


Lillien Jane Martin, psychologist, educator, school administrator, gerontologist and feminist, was born in Olean, New York, on July 7, 1851. She graduated from Vasser in 1880 and earned a doctorate in psychology from the University of Gottingen in Germany in 1898. In 1899, Dr Martin received a telegram from David Starr Jordan, then President of Stanford University, inviting her to join Professor Frank Angell in the psychology faculty at Stanford. She taught at Stanford from 1899 to 1916, quickly gaining a reputation as an extraordinary teacher, very conscientious and personally concerned over the development of her students. Her excellent administrative skills and her well-developed organizational ability led Professor Angell to entrust administrative tasks to her and when Angell made periodic pilgrimages to Germany, Dr Martin was appointed acting head of the department, the first woman to be appointed a department head at Stanford. At her retirement from teaching she went into private practice. At age 78 Dr Martin traveled alone to Russia, later learned to drive and at age 81 made a coast to coast drive across the United States by automobile. She made a six month tour of South America at age 87. Dr Martin died in San Francisco, California, on March 26, 1943.


Dr Martin authored a large number of articles and several books. On her life and work, see: Psychologist Unretired: the Life Pattern of Lillien J Martin (1948) by Miriam Allen De Ford; and see generally: Models of Achievement: Reflections of Eminent Women in Psychology (1983) edited by Agnes N O’Connell and Nancy Felipe Russo; Untold Lives: the First Generation of American Women Psychologists (1987) by Elizabeth Scarborough and Laurel Furumoto.

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