Albert Ellis, the foul-mouthed father of cognitive therapy, is a modern Diogenes. Now severely ill, and at odds with the institute he founded, he remains convinced of the value of Stoic wisdom
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On July 24th—after this article was published— Albert Ellis died at his flat on the top floor of the Albert Ellis Institute. This was the last interview he gave.
When I got in touch with Albert Ellis’s office to arrange an interview with him later in the year, they told me that he was very old and ill and might not live that long. They said that I should come as soon as possible, so the next day I took a plane to New York. I was prepared to drop everything to interview Ellis. He is one of the few living legends of psychology. The magazine Psychology Today described him as the “greatest living psychologist,” while the American Psychological Association voted him the second most influential psychologist of the 20th century (Carl Rogers came first; Freud was third).