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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Young, David Alexander

by William S. Powell, 1996

19 May 1907–5 May 1994

David Alexander Young, psychiatrist and hospital administrator, was born in Raleigh, the son of James Richard and Virginia Nicholls Young. His father, of Vance County, was North Carolina's first insurance commissioner. David A. Young was graduated from The University of North Carolina in 1928 and then attended the institution's two-year School of Medicine. In 1931 he received an M.D. degree from Harvard University. He was trained in internal medicine and neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Bellevue Hospital in New York City, Worcester State Hospital, and McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass.

Young completed his residency in psychiatry at Duke Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital before entering private practice in neurology and psychiatry in Salt Lake City (1940–45), where he was also assistant clinical professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Utah for the four years he was in that state. In 1945 he became general superintendent of mental hygiene for the state of North Carolina. From 1955 to 1968 Young was also a clinical professor of psychiatry at The University of North Carolina Medical School. However, he was primarily in charge of five hospitals across the state—at Raleigh, Butner, Morganton, Goldsboro, and Kinston. When he arrived, North Carolina had only recently acquired from the U.S. Army the huge complex at Camp Butner for conversion into facilities for the treatment and care of the mentally ill. In addition, new construction was under way at Goldsboro.

In June 1955 Young resigned to enter the private practice of psychiatry and psychoanalysis in Raleigh. During his term as director the large facility at Butner had been put into use, as had the new quarters in Goldsboro. The patients treated in the various hospitals grew from 8,300 to more than 11,000.

Young participated in the establishment of The University of North Carolina–Duke Psychoanalytic Training Institute and served as a training analyst from 1960 to 1987. In 1984 he received the Faculty and Alumni Distinguished Service Award of the UNC Medical School and the George Ham Award from the UNC Department of Psychiatry in 1989. In the latter year a stone building on the Dorothea Dix State Hospital campus in Raleigh where he had lived was named the Young House.

Young married Alma Stanley, and they had four children: Francis Nicholls, Sidney Stanley, James Richard, and Carolina Alma. A memorial service for him was held at Christ Episcopal Church, Raleigh.


Alumni Files (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

Biographical Directory of the Fellows and Members of the American Psychiatric Association (1977).

Raleigh News and Observer, 8–9, 24 June 1945, 8 June 1955, 7, 9 May 1994.

Additional Resources:

"Over 50 Years of Psychoanalytic Training in North Carolina." Psychoanalytic Education Center of the Carolinas. (accessed January 30, 2014).

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