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Papers of Roy W. Menninger

Creator: Menninger, Roy W., 1926-

Date: circa 1937 - 2009 (bulk: 1966-1990s)

Level of Description: Sub-collection/group

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: Unavailable

Unit ID: 223354

Abstract: Dr. Roy Menninger's papers provide valuable information about his professional and personal activities for much of his life. They include records related to Roy's time and efforts as president of the Menninger Foundation, to his fund raising and public speaking engagements both during and after his presidency, to his travels and work in Japan and with the Pacific Rim College of Psychiatry, and to his other professional interests and work. There is also more limited information about his professional life before he moved his family back to Topeka, such as during his time in Salzburg, Austria and with the Peter Bent Bigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Roy's papers provide some glimpses into his personal life and interests, including his interests during the 1960s in finding peaceful alternatives to war.

While the records span the majority of his professional career, the bulk of the materials date from 1966 through the 1990s and focus on Dr. Roy's work as Menninger Foundation President and in related capacities. Dr. Roy's papers have been organized into series and sub-series, but materials on a single topic may be found scattered throughout multiple series; researchers may therefore wish to broaden their searches. Documents are occasionally in foreign languages, such as Japanese or German, but the bulk of the papers are in English.

Space Required/Quantity: Circa 185 cubic feet.

Title (Main title): Papers of Roy W. Menninger

Part of: Menninger Foundation Archives. Papers of the Menninger Family.


Biog. Sketch (Full): Roy Wright Menninger was born in Topeka, Kan. in 1926 to William C. and Catharine Wright Menninger, the eldest of three brothers. He graduated from Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania in 1947 and, following in his father's footsteps, received a medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in 1951. With an internship at the New York Hospital and residencies at the Boston State and Boston Psychopathic Hospitals; the Institute of Neurology at the National Hospital in London, England; and the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, he then served as chief of neuropsychiatry at a U.S. Army hospital in Salzburg, Austria, during his military service. He was also an educator and research fellow at Harvard before returning to Topeka and joining his family at the Menninger Foundation in 1961.

Dr. Roy quickly rose through the ranks at Menninger, eventually serving as director of the Preventive Psychiatry Department. In 1967, after the death of his father Will the year before, Roy became the President of the Menninger Foundation. He served in this capacity until 1993, retiring and turning the position over to his brother, W. Walter Menninger. Dr. Roy then served as chairman of the Menninger Board of Trustees.

Dr. Roy has clinical and professional interests in group dynamics and group processes, physicians' mental health, and in the application of psychiatric understanding to business and industry, as well as in public education. He was also one of the founding members of the Pacific Rim College of Psychiatry, and has helped to introduce many concepts of psychodynamic psychiatry and group processes to that region.

In the early 1950s, Roy married Ann Catherine Colwell, often called Cathy, of English descent (her grandfather was Prime Minister Andrew Bonar Law). Roy and Cathy had four children: Heather, Ariel, Bonar, and Eric. In the early 1970s, Roy and Cathy divorced. Roy later in 1973 married Beverly Joan Miller Ohse, who had three children of her own from a previous marriage: David Brent, Elizabeth, and Frederick Ohse.

Dr. Roy has held many public and civic positions in relation to his expertise, such as participating on the national advisory committee for Physicians for Human Rights and the prevention committee for the National Mental Health Association, chairing the Kansas Governor's Committee on Public Mental Health Services, acting as a member of the Governor's Mental Health Advisory Council, and chairing the Kansas Mental Health Coalition, a statewide advocacy organization. He has also held positions with various professional associations and is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, the American College of Psychiatrists, and the American College of Physicians.

Portions of Collection Separately Described:

More separate components


No Locators Identified

Index Terms


    Menninger Foundation -- Administration
    Menninger Foundation -- History
    Pacific Rim College of Psychiatrists -- History
    Menninger, Roy W., 1926- -- Archives
    Menninger, Roy W., 1926- -- Career in psychiatry
    Psychiatrists -- Kansas -- Topeka

Creators and Contributors

Agency Classification:

    Organizations/Corporations. Menninger Foundation Archives. Family. Roy W. Menninger.

Additional Information for Researchers

Ownership/Custodial Hist.: A portion of Dr. Roy Menninger's papers came with the larger Menninger Foundation Archives donation to the Kansas Historical Society in 2003/2004. Dr. Roy later in 2007 and again in 2011 donated more of his personal papers. Further accretions to this sub-collection of the Menninger archives is possible.