Morton Eisenberg, Psychiatrist

Aug. 20, 1920 - March 27, 2014

Morton S. Eisenberg, a psychiatrist in private practice and on the staff of New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, died on March 27 at his Manhattan residence from complications of prostate cancer. He was 93 and had been ill for one year.

Some of Dr. Eisenberg’s happiest hours were spent in East Hampton, where he had a close circle of friends and enjoyed going to the beach, landscaping and gardening, and long games of chess. Tennis was also a passion, and he continued to play well into his 80s.

He came to this area in 1961, renting houses for the summer months until buying property and building a house in Barnes Landing in 1974. Having served in the Army in Japan, he had a fascination with Japanese art and culture, which influenced the garden he developed with his wife, the former Joan N. Bowie, who survives. It was on two garden tours.

Dr. Eisenberg grew up in Harrisburg, Pa., where he was born on Aug. 20, 1920, to John Eisenberg and the former Lena Garfinkle. He graduated from the Temple University School of Medicine in 1944 before serving as a military psychiatrist in Japan and as a consultant to the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. He went on to attend the Menninger Foundation School of Psychiatry in Topeka, Kan., and in 1950, moved to New York City.

His wife wrote that “he was voracious in his study of history — ancient civilizations, Greek and Roman civilizations, history of England, Middle Eastern (modern and ancient), and in the last few years, a profound interest in the Civil War.” He was also interested in evolution and understanding the universe. He joined the computer age early, she said, and loved movies, especially action films.

Dr. Eisenberg and his wife were married on May 26, 2001, after being together for many years. He had been married twice before and is survived by two sons from those marriages, Lawrence Keith Eisenberg of New York City and Jonathan Richard Eisenberg of Beit Shemesh, Israel. Also surviving are a brother, Theodore Eisenberg of Philadelphia, and two grandsons, who live in Israel. 

Burial of Dr. Eisenberg’s ashes took place at Shaarey Pardes Accabonac Grove Cemetery in Springs on March 31. Rabbi Stephen Dresner of East Meadow officiated.

At the end of his life, his wife said, he would sit in front of his computer playing chess. “The only part of me not shot is my brain,” he said.