In Memoriam: Aaron T. Beck

Guilford mourns the loss of Aaron T. Beck, MD (1921–2021), internationally recognized as the founder of cognitive therapy. We were privileged to have a long and productive working relationship with Dr. Beck, beginning with the publication of his seminal Cognitive Therapy of Depression in 1979. With a career spanning more than 70 years, Dr. Beck has been credited with shaping the face of American psychiatry, and was cited by The American Psychologist as “one of the five most influential psychotherapists of all time.”

Dr. Beck was University Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and President Emeritus of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy. A prolific author, he contributed more than 600 published works to the field. He was the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2006 Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research and the Gustav O. Lienhard Award from the Institute of Medicine for “outstanding national achievement in improving personal health care services in the United States.” Other honors included the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association, the Distinguished Service Award from the American Psychiatric Association, the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award in Applied Psychology from the Association for Psychological Science, and the Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health from the Institute of Medicine.

Tributes and Donations:

The Beck Institute has established the Aaron T. Beck Fund in honor of Dr. Beck's many significant contributions to psychiatry and psychology and his enduring influence on mental health.