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Dr. James Comer

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Information about Dr. James Comer

Profile image of Dr. James Comer

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
MedicalMakers
Occupation(s):
Child Psychiatry Professor
Child Psychiatrist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Gold
Favorite Food:
Barbecue (Ribs)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
Keep On Keepin' On.

Birthplace

Born:
9/25/1934
Birth Location:
East Chicago, Indiana

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
MedicalMakers
Occupation(s):
Child Psychiatry Professor
Child Psychiatrist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Gold
Favorite Food:
Barbecue (Ribs)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
Keep On Keepin' On.

Birthplace

Born:
9/25/1934
Birth Location:
East Chicago
See how Dr. James Comer is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Dr. James P. Comer, founder and chairman of the School Development Program at the Yale University School of Medicine’s Child Study Center, was born on September 25, 1934, in East Chicago, Indiana. After earning his A.B. degree from Indiana University, Comer went on to earn his M.D. from Howard University College of Medicine in 1960, and his M.P.H. from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 1964.

After completing his M.P.H., Comer completed his training at the Yale School of Medicine, the Yale Child Study Center, and the Hillcrest Children’s Center in Washington, D.C. Comer was also enlisted in the military, completing his service in 1968 at the rank of Surgeon, Lt. Colonel, in the United States Public Health Service.

After 1976, Comer became the Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine; in this role, he developed the Comer Process, which was a system of education that focused on child development in inner-city schools. Comer's process has been utilized in more than six hundred schools in eighty-two school districts across twenty-six states. In 1968, Comer founded the Comer School Development Program to promote the usage of his process in schools across the nation; to achieve this aim, an emphasis was placed on collaboration between parents, teachers, and the surrounding community to improve the lives of young students and, in turn, their prospects for succeeding on the path to higher education.

In addition to lecturing and consulting widely across the United States at colleges and universities, medical schools, scientific associations, and public school districts, Comer lectured, observed, and discussed child care, school conditions, and reform around the world, in places such as London, Paris, Tokyo, Dakar, Senegal, and Sydney.

A prolific writer, Comer has authored ten books, including: Beyond Black and White (1972); Black Child Care (with Dr. Alvin Poussaint, 1975); Raising Black Children (1992); School Power: Implications of an Intervention Project (1980); and most recently, Leave No Child Behind: Preparing Today’s Youth for Tomorrow’s World (2004). Between 1978 and 1994, Comer wrote more than one hundred and fifty articles for Parent’s Magazine and more than three hundred syndicated articles on children’s health and development and race relations.

See how Dr. James Comer is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. James Comer's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. James Comer lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. James Comer describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. James Comer talks about his mother's childhood in Woodland, Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. James Comer describes his mother's personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. James Comer talks about his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. James Comer describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. James Comer shares a story about his father's toughness
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. James Comer describes his father's personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. James Comer talks about the influence of Zion Baptist Church in East Chicago, Indiana on his family and in his life
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dr. James Comer recalls the influence of spirituals in his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Dr. James Comer remembers his childhood Sunday mornings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Dr. James Comer recalls members of the church community at Zion Baptist Church in East Chicago, Indiana
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Dr. James Comer talks about his current church attendance
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. James Comer recalls his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. James Comer describes his childhood neighborhood in East Chicago, Indiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. James Comer recalls successful neighbors from him childhood in East Chicago, Indiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. James Comer recalls the racially mixed community of his childhood in East Chicago, Indiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. James Comer lists his siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. James Comer recalls how his parents met and married
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. James Comer recalls the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in East Chicago, Indiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. James Comer recalls learning about gender equality by playing football with a childhood playmate
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. James Comer recalls learning a lesson about child psychology while attending Easter Sunday service at Zion Baptist Church
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dr. James Comer recalls an encounter with a racist neighbor after a childhood birthday party
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dr. James Comer recalls two of his teachers at George Washington Elementary School in East Chicago, Indiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Dr. James Comer describes the demographics of George Washington Elementary School in East Chicago, Indiana
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Dr. James Comer explains his aspiration to be a doctor
  • Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Dr. James Comer lists his favorite school subjects
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. James Comer recalls his experience at Washington Junior High School in East Chicago, Indiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. James Comer recalls supportive teachers and a discriminatory one at Washington High School in East Chicago, Indiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. James Comer lists favorite and least favorite subjects studied at Washington High School in East Chicago, Indiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. James Comer lists the extracurricular activities he participated in at Washington High School in East Chicago, Indiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. James Comer talks about his social circles throughout his youth
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. James Comer lists his favorite sports
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. James Comer recalls overcoming his initial self-doubt at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. James Comer explains how his experiences at Indiana University led him to focus on the psychological dimensions of race and poverty
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. James Comer talks about being a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Dr. James Comer explains his decision to attend Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Dr. James Comer describes his experience at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Dr. James Comer recalls his limited involvement with the Civil Rights Movement during his college years
  • Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Dr. James Comer reflects upon the experience of school integration
  • Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Dr. James Comer recalls the positive influence and support he received while attending Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. James Comer lists his professors he at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. James Comer explains why he changed his focus from medicine to psychiatry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. James Comer recalls how his volunteer work with Hospitality House in Washington, D.C. led to his interest in public health
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. James Comer talks about his study of public health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. James Comer notes the duration of his residency at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. James Comer explains how he came to head the School Development Program for the Yale Child Study Center in 1968
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. James Comer recalls his time at the Hillcrest Children's Center in Washington, D.C. from 1967 through 1968
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. James Comer talks about developing the Comer School Development Program from his experience with public schools in New Haven, Connecticut, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dr. James Comer talks about developing the Comer School Development Program from his experience with public schools in New Haven, Connecticut, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dr. James Comer explains three of the components of the Comer School Development Program
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. James Comer describes the elements and guidelines of the Comer School Development Program
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. James Comer talks about successes attained by schools adopting the Comer School Development Program
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. James Comer talks about the assessing school improvement for schools using the Comer School Development Program
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. James Comer talks about the lack of teacher training and preparation in child development
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. James Comer talks about the obstacles that impede recognizing the importance of child development in the educational system
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. James Comer talks about the breakdown in community support that occurred after World War II in U.S. society
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. James Comer reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. James Comer describes the impetus for his book 'Leave No Child Behind: Preparing Today's Youth for Tomorrow's World'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. James Comer talks about his book 'Maggie's American Dream: The Life and Times of a Black Family,' pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dr. James Comer talks about his book 'Maggie's American Dream: The Life and Times of a Black Family,' pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dr. James Comer talks about his book 'Waiting for a Miracle: Why Schools Can't Solve Our Problems--and How We Can'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dr. James Comer describes how he wants to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. James Comer reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dr. James Comer narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dr. James Comer narrates his photographs, pt. 2