Geriatric Psychiatry Loses a Founding Father: Dr. Charles A. Shamoian

Published Monday, May 19, 2014
by George S. Alexopoulos, MD

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Charles A. Shamoian, MD, PhD, on May 12, 2014. He is survived by his wife of 52 years Paula Shamoian, his children Paula Katze and Chaz Shamoian, his son-in-law John, his daughter-in-law Michelle, and his grandchildren Jason, Evan and Briana.

Dr. Shamoian was one of the founding fathers of geriatric psychiatry worldwide. At a time when our field was in its infancy, he used his clinical skills, his sharp intellect, and his deep caring for older patients to treat, generate ideas, attract talent, teach, advocate and organize. His patients have been grateful to him for his devotion to their care. His students learned not only our specialty but how to become caring physicians. His peers respected, admired and welcomed his leadership. Dr. Shamoian started the geriatric psychiatry program at Weill-Cornell Medical College. He served as the AAGP Secretary in 1984-1985 and as its President in 1987-1988. He held several offices in the Gerontological Society of America and many other organizations. He left us a wealth of manuscripts and a model for integrity, humanity, sensitivity, and wisdom. He will be sorely missed.

His obituary can be found at

AAGP member George S. Alexopoulos, MD, is the S.P. Tobin and A.M. Cooper Professor, and Director, Weill-Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry.