Famous People Who Had a Lobotomy
Famous People who had a Lobotomy
The first famous person was Phineas Gage, a railroad worker who had a serious accident resulting from an iron bar piercing through one side of his skill coming to the other. This amazing man lived on. He lost his job because his behavior became bizarre but he lived.
Rosemary Kennedy (1918 – 2005) was the third child of Joseph and Rose Kennedy. She was a shy child, but did frequent operas and outings such as was befitting as a member of the Kennedy Family. It is written that she was “mildly retarded” though there is much controversy surrounding this statement.
In 1941, her father was persuaded that a lobotomy would help control her mood swings. She was 23 years old at the time. James W. Watts and Walter Freeman performed the lobotomy.
The procedure left Rosemary's bladder incontinent and with a childlike mentality for the rest of her life. She spent her life in mental institutions after that. The whole terrible tragedy that befell this family may have inspired Eunice Kennedy to create the Special Olympics.
Rose, the sister of the great playwright Tennessee Williams had a lobotomy that incapacitated her for the rest of her life. It is said that her character is portrayed in many of his plays.
Sigrid Hjertén was a Swedish modernist painter who died after having a lobotomy in 1948.
Howard Dully was one of the youngest individuals to have an ice pick lobotomy at the age of 12 years old. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia. It took many years for him to recover from the lobotomy. He spent his many years in institutions, incarcerated in prison, homeless and alcoholic. He gained notoriety after appearing on the radio to talk about his lobotomy. He then co-authored his autobiography, entitled “My Lobotomy.”
Montreal's Alys Robi nee Alice Robitaille in Ste Sauveur, in 1923 was a famous French Canadian singer. She sang in Montreal Cabarets and on the radio. Her fame extended to New York City and beyond. She was travelling to Hollywood by car and had a serious accident. Her life was beginning to crumple around her. She had an unsuccessful romance and fell into a deep depression. She was admitted to a Quebec City mental institution and underwent a lobotomy against her will. However, she credits this lobotomy as saving her life and went on to continue her career.