William James (1842-1910)
William James was born in 1842 in New York City. His education consisted of the Lawrence Scientific School, Harvard (1861) where he studied anatomy, chemistry, and physiology. He graduated in 1863 and began medical school at Harvard Medical School in 1864. He received his MD in 1869 but never went into practice. He suffered with severe bouts of depression and illness during his schooling, his depressive episodes continued throughout his life.
James accepted a teaching position at Harvard in 1872. He taught undergraduate courses in comparative physiology. In 1874 James accepted a full teaching position at Harvard to begin teaching psychology. He is credited with developing the first American psychology laboratory, which he used for demonstrations. This is one of the many contributions he made to the field of psychology. In 1880 he was appointed to Assistant Professor of Philosophy and continued teaching psychology courses. In 1889 he is appointed to Professor of Psychology.
James is credited for popularizing psychology in America. Within this major accomplishment he also developed pragmatism, wrote the Principals of Psychology, and included religion in his writings. He is thought to be an original thinker and is one of the most famous scholars in America.
Personally, James was a well traveled individual and married Alice Howe Gibbens in 1878. Although he suffered with depression he was able to profoundly impact the study of psychology through his writings, lectures, and teachings. James died in 1910.