Entertaining real-life stories with valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life
Entertaining and compelling real-life stories with valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life. The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on December 3rd, 2013

Dr. Hedda Bolgar, the 103 year old world renowned psychologist.

In 2013 at age 103, Hedda, the great psychologist, scholar, teacher, lecturer, author and social justice activist passed away in her Los Angeles home, ending a remarkable career.

After Hedda earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Vienna in 1934, for nearly 80 years she treated patients.

Hedda also taught at the University of Chicago and later became the head of psychology at what is now the famed Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

But Hedda's personal life was even more interesting.

Hedda Bolgar
Hedda Bolgar

Born on Aug. 19, 1909 in Zurich, Switzerland, she was the only child of Hungarian diplomat Elek Bolgar and Elza Stern, one of the few female journalists allowed to cover World War I.

Her mother was a controversial outspoken feminist and political activist as was Hedda, who with her Jewish roots and Nazi criticisms fled for her life in 1938 when Hitler arrived in Vienna.

After coming to the U.S., Hedda was later joined by her husband Herbert Bekker, an economist. Being Jewish, he at first stayed in Austria because his parents refused to leave, not believing the Nazi's would treat Austrian Jews as they did German Jews.

But his mother was executed in Auschwitz and his father died in another concentration camp and Herbert escaped. He and Hedda settled in New York, then Chicago and in 1956, they moved to Los Angeles.

They had no biological children, but they adopted and raised four daughters. When the daughters had children, Hedda and Herbert became part of an extended close family.

Herbert was the love of Hedda's life and when he died in 1973 after 33 years of marriage, she never remarried.

As a physiologist, Hedda was critical of mass culture which she felt was destructive to women's self-image and self-confidence, compelling them to become obsessed with their aging and their physical appearance.

In Hedda's final years, most of her patients were women, including some who were themselves therapists. She also treated many patients in their 70's and 80's, because she understood their problems with aging.

But there was more to Hedda's life than work. Aside from time with her family, she often attended the opera, concerts, museums and other social functions.

As a social justice activist, Hedda addressed the erosion of the U.S.'s civil rights since 9/11, its wars, Tea Partiers, and those whom she felt denied global warming and hindered the U.S. from addressing this earth threatening problem.

But each year at Christmas time, Hedda set aside controversial actions for something else that touched her heart.

Although she had no religious affiliation, Hedda would decorate her home magnificently and invite many people to come enjoy the color, the pageantry, the music and the food and share in the joys of the holiday season.

For to Hedda, the holiday season was a celebration of life.

Success Tip of the Week: A Hedda Tip for longevity: "The most important thing that keeps people going is to keep connected to people, to interests, to the world outside."

Editor's Note: To see and hear Hedda http://www.beautyofaging.com/hedda-bolgar.html and http://vimeo.com/30604005 To read Hedda in her own words http://www.caring.com/interviews/interview-with-hedda-bolgar-about-aging

To learn more about Hedda and her many additional accomplishments http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/18/local/la-me-hedda-bolgar-20130519

In the next KazanToday: An insurance salesman who became a bestselling author.

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