Alan Bruce Cooper, M.D. died of lung cancer on December 29, 2002. He was a professor at the University of Texas Medical School in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
The only child of Harold Cooper and Florence Zeisler Cooper, and the only grandchild to maternal grandparents, Max Zeisler and Rosie Rosenberg Zeisler, Alan was born in New York in 1928 and grew up on Long Island. As a child, Alan was an accomplished chess player; he spoke German fluently, which he learned from his beloved nanny, Lina. Alan's father owned the Sterling Button Company, which he later sold. After the sale, the family moved to a property in Stamford, Connecticut that they named Button Woods.
Alan received his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan in 1949, Master's from Wesleyan in Immuno-Genetics in 1951, and Medical Degree from New York Medical School in 1955. He was Chief Resident in Pathology at the Harvard Medical School. Following his residency, Alan joined the US Air Force, where his postings included the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C., and the pathology section of the National Academy of Sciences.
Following an honorable discharge from the Air Force with the rank of Major in 1965, Alan moved to Houston, Texas, to retrain in psychiatry and psychoanalysis at Baylor College of Medicine and The New Orleans Psychoanalytic Institute. He was in private practice in psychoanalysis in Houston from 1968-1985. During this period, he taught psychiatric residents at Baylor College of Medicine and UT Medical School, as well as serving as a training and supervising analyst at the Houston/Galveston Psychoanalytic Institute.
In 1986, Alan was appointed Medical Director for the University of Texas Adult Ambulatory Psychiatric Services and later Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Services. He was an active participant in the resident training program at the UT Medical School, for which he received outstanding supervision awards from the residents. Alan was a Life Fellow of the American Psychoanalytic Association and was elected a Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He has been honored by inclusion in American Men of Science, Leaders in American Science and Best Doctors in America, among other publications.
Alan had a beautiful, deep, resonant, bass voice; he loved the works of Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, and Gilbert & Sullivan. He had a prodigious memory, of both operetta lyrics and also nearly everything else that he read or heard. He was an avid reader in a wide range of subjects, and throughout his life, stayed up much of the night reading. He especially enjoyed European political philosophy, early American political theory, and military and diplomatic history (particularly analyses of World War II). For lighter reading, he favored British mystery writers.
Alan loved the sea. He studied charts and maps as well as schematics of ocean vessels. From 1977 through 1991, he and his wife Donna and their 3 children lived on a six-acre property in Morgan's Point, Texas, where they could watch the waves of Galveston Bay crashing onto the beach in front of the house.
Alan is survived by his wife, Donna; children, Nanette Cooper-McGuinness, Robin Cooper Feldman, Shellie Cooper Campbell, Dana Cooper, and Charles Cooper; and six grandchildren.