Cover photo for Armand Mayo Nicholi's Obituary
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1927 Armand 2017

Armand Mayo Nicholi

October 18, 1927 — June 22, 2017

Armand M. Nicholi Jr., M.D. age 89, died peacefully at his home in Concord, MA on June 22, 2017. Armand was born in Johnson City, New York on October 18, 1927 to Armand Sr. and Mary Nicholi née Nitto. He had an older sister Constance and younger sister Maryann.

Armand enjoyed a long and prominent career as a psychiatrist, academician, and trusted advisor. He attended Cornell University and then New York Medical College for his training. Initially intent on neural surgery, he began his internship at Cornell Surgical Division at Bellevue Hospital. A year into his internship, however, he found the technical and emotionally distant demands of surgery off-putting. Rather, he discovered that he much more thoroughly enjoyed personally interacting with his patients prior to and following surgery and subsequently changed his focus of study to psychiatry.

Later, and in addition to his private practice, Armand became a professor of clinical psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital, positions that he held for 25 years. At Harvard, he taught a course, repeatedly rated by students as amongst the best at the University, that compared and contrasted the two conflicting world views of Sigmund Freud (secular) and C.S. Lewis (Christian) which he later memorialized in a book entitled The Question of God. C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life. This book was subsequently made into a four-part PBS series and later into a two-man off-Broadway production called Freud's Last Session. In promoting the series, Armand was interviewed by Charlie Rose on his PBS show.

Armand was a prolific writer, authoring more than 120 scholarly works, and lecturer. His idea for creating a seminal work in his field manifested by bringing 58 experts together to contribute to The Harvard Guide to Psychiatry, which he edited and contributed three chapters. In 1998, he was invited to give the prestigious Noble Lecture Series at Harvard, joining the ranks of other presenters such as President Theodore Roosevelt and Dr. Francis Collins, current Director of the NIH.

His research ranged from a study of changes in the structure of the American family, to the study of object relations theory and its application to the success of organizations. He was a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and was elected a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He was a member of the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the Massachusetts Medical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Scientific Affiliation and the Royal Society of Medicine. From 1982 to 2000, Armand was a special consultant for the New England Patriots and stood on the sidelines as a team doctor for their 1986 Super Bowl appearance versus the Chicago Bears.

Armand was predeceased by his beloved wife of 59 years Ingrid, who passed away on June 3, 2017 and is survived by his daughter Kimberly Nicholi Dziama of Wellesley, MA, and his son Armand Nicholi III of San Diego, CA and his four grandchildren Alexandra Dziama, Tyler Dziama, Matthew Dziama, and Katherine Nicholi as well as his great grandson, Brian Mullis. Armand was widely admired for his broad contributions to his field and loved and adored by his family.

Family and friends will gather to remember Armand on Thursday June 29, 2017 at 11:00am at the Memorial Church of Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

Donations in his memory may be made to:
World Vision International
PO Box 971
Federal Way, WA 98063

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Thursday, June 29, 2017

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Memorial Chapel - Harvard

2 Kirkland St, Cambridge, MA 02138

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