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Psychologist S. Norman Feingold Dies at 91

By Louie Estrada
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 19, 2005; Page B05

S. Norman Feingold, 91, a clinical psychologist in Washington who was an innovator in the fields of vocational counseling and occupational rehabilitation for people with disabilities, died of pneumonia Feb. 13 at ManorCare nursing home in Rockville.

Dr. Feingold's wide-ranging career included writing or co-writing more than 50 books, including "Your Future in Exotic Occupations" (1980), "Futuristic Exercises: A Workbook for Emerging Lifestyles and Careers in the 21st Century and Beyond" (1989) and "Making It on Your Own" (1985), a small-business management handbook.

S. Norman Feingold studied occupational rehabilitation.

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One of his most widely distributed texts was "Scholarships, Fellowships and Loans," which he co-authored with his wife, Marie Feingold. Since its publication in 1949, the directory has become a standard reference source on the bookshelves of college and high school libraries.

Many of the ideas behind his books and dozens of professional articles stemmed from his general psychology practice at 15th and K streets NW, where for more than three decades he worked with people trying to cope with anxieties, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders and relationship problems.

He also began to examine the psychological aspect of disabilities.

Dr. Feingold, who never fully retired, retained his license to practice and saw some of his clients as recently as last year.

Born in Worcester, Mass., Dr. Feingold graduated from Indiana University and received a master's degree in psychology from Clark University. After serving in the Army during World War II, he received a doctorate in clinical psychology from Boston University.

Early in his career, he branched out to the vocational and career areas as well as the employment of the mentally ill. As more women entered the workforce, he spearheaded initiatives sponsored by the World Future Society and other professional organizations to identify new career fields, job training and employment competency exams.

He taught at American and George Washington universities, lectured widely and helped motivate doctoral students to complete their dissertations.

"He stimulated more people to go into psychology more than anybody I know," said Leonard Perlman, a colleague who collaborated with Dr. Feingold on "Making It on Your Own." "He was an idea man who was always looking for new ways to do things."

In the 1950s, Dr. Feingold played a leading role in crafting the language establishing the Social Security disability benefits program.

He was a founding member of the President's Committee on the Employment of the Disabled; former national director of the B'nai B'rith Vocational Service; and a past president of the American Association for Counseling and Development.

His wife died in 2002. They had been married for 50 years.

Survivors include four daughters, Elizabeth Feingold of Berkeley, Calif., Lynne Feingold of Washington and Margaret Baritz and Deborah Goldfarb, both of Bethesda; a brother; and a granddaughter.

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