In Memoriam: Stephen A. Lieber

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It is with great sadness and a tremendous sense of loss that I send news of Steve Lieber’s death this morning, March 31st, 2020.  Steve, as everybody knows, was a tremendous champion of research and treatment for brain disorders affecting mental function and behavior in the United States and the world at large. He and Connie leave a legacy which is unparalleled in our time and field.  I don’t know the circumstances of his death other than that he clearly was of advanced age and had sustained personal tragedies with the loss of his beloved Connie and his son, Sam, in recent years.  I know that information will be forthcoming from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation and Jeffrey Borenstein in the coming days.  In the meantime, I know that we feel a collective sense of sorrow and loss at Steve’s passing and will look forward to opportunities to pay our respects and in the appropriate ways going forward. 

While words cannot adequately describe the measure of our loss and sadness we feel, I offer below a passage that I have found consoling in times of grief in the hope that it may provide some small measure of comfort. 

Psalm 112

Blessed is the man who reveres the Lord,
who greatly delights in God’s commandments!
His descendants will be honored in the land:
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
His household prospers,
and his righteousness endures for ever.
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
for the one who is gracious, compassionate, and just.
He is not afraid of evil tidings;
his mind is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady, he will not be afraid.
He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures for ever;
his life is exalted in honor.

With deep regret and respect,

Jeffrey A. Lieberman, MD
Lawrence C. Kolb Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry 
Columbia University, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
Director, New York State Psychiatric Institute 
Psychiatrist-in-Chief, New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University Medical Center