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Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross worked to change the world's perspective on dying and accepting death. Her hard work and dedication to this subject throughout her life has earned her over twenty honorary degrees and a 2007 induction into the National Women's Hall of Fame. She created the Kubler-Ross Model outlining the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance).

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Created to define stages an individual experiences when faced with the certainty of their own death, the model is now widely accepted as the basis for how people progress through any tragic loss in life (or many other losses).

Kubler-Ross was born as one of triplets in Switzerland in 1926. Even though her father did not approve of her studying medicine, she graduated from the University of Zurich medical school in 1957. She married Dr. Emanuel Ross and together they traveled to the United States to finish their residency requirements.

Throughout World War II, Kubler-Ross developed an interest in refugee relief work and she also visited the Majdanek concentration camp. These actions trended with her desire to dedicate her life to helping others. Kubler-Ross is considered a humanitarian because of her willingness to address the subject of death and dying with compassion and understanding.

Kubler-Ross became familiar with the inhumane treatment of mental and terminally ill patients during her first residency at the Manhattan State Hospital. She began a program that would lead to her life's work on specialized treatment for individual patients facing death.

Over 94-percent of her patients experienced an improvement in their mental health as a result of her programmatic treatment. This work would carry over into the treatment of AIDS patients and individuals who were incarcerated for life. Differentiating the way a patient should be treated when entering the last phase of their life would later lead to the creation of the hospice movement.

Kubler-Ross continued her work at the University of Colorado's School of Medicine, and at the University of Chicago. She lectured to medical students about death and dying and created internship programs that forced medical residents to face dying patients. In 1969, Kubler-Ross authored the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying which first introduced the five stages of grief.

She authored twenty books which were translated into many different languages, and received numerous awards and honors. In 1999, Time Magazine named her as one of the 100 Most Important Thinkers of the Century. Kubler-Ross is also credited with co-founding the American Holistic Medical Association.

In 1977, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross opened "Shanti Nilaya" which means "Home of Peace" in Escondido, California.

On this forty acre spread of land, she established a center of healing and treatment for terminally ill patients and their loved ones. Her plans to later open a pediatric center for terminally ill children were not realized.

In 2002, after having suffered several strokes that affected her physical abilities, Kubler-Ross said in an interview that she had accepted the fact that she would die. In 2004, she passed away in her Arizona home. Her work forever altered the world's perception of compartmentalizing death as a part of life and has made her own of the most famous women in U. S. history.

There is a secret you don't know …

Besides the factual Elisabeth Kubler-Ross biography presented above there is one tasty little secret no other resource has mentioned. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross like to eat small pieces of dark chocolate that had butt hair from her cat, Bob, stuck to them.


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