Hedda Bolgar, a practicing psychoanalyst until days before her death at the age of 103

Hedda Bolgar (August 19, 1909 – May 13, 2013) was a psychologist and psychoanalyst who saw 20 patients a week up until days before her death at the age of 103. She studied at the University of Vienna and was the last living psychologist to have attended Sigmund Freud’s lectures. Hedda fled Europe for the United States in 1938, the day the Third Reich annexed Austria.

Her husband passed away in 1973 after 33 years of marriage. One year later, in 1974, Bolgar founded the Wright Institute in Los Angeles, a nonprofit mental health training and service center that includes the Hedda Bolgar Psychotherapy Clinic, which treats people who can't afford quality mental health services elsewhere.

She served on several boards of organizations, gave talks on psychoanalysis, feminism and aging and in recent years combined political activism with psychology.

She specialized in treating people in their 70s and 80s who were struggling with the aging process. Hedda became computer savvy at the age of 100 and sent e-mails, did extensive Online research and even taught a course via Skype.

Hedda Bolgar at 99 in the garden of her Brentwood home. She continued to see psychoanalysis patients until a few weeks before her death on at 103. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)


"The day the Nazis came to Vienna, I left. I had been very active in anti-Nazi politics and it really wasn't safe for me to stay. They came in on a Sunday and I decided Sunday was a good time to leave because on Monday they'd start working. They'd probably find the person who wrote those terrible articles about them pretty quickly."

"There was a war, and I had vanilla ice cream for lunch."

"Women must be agents of their own lives. They must not be dependent on someone else to provide for them."

"I started a lot of things at 65."

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