Nov. 25, 2019

Main Content

In Memoriam: Dr. Edgar Draper

Dr. Edgar Draper, who served as chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at UMMC for 20 years, died Nov. 16. He was 93.

A 1946 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Draper entered divinity school at Duke University and received his bachelor of divinity degree from Garrett Biblical Institute at Northwestern University in 1949. He was ordained a deacon and elder in the Methodist church before earning his M.D. at Washington University.

He interned at St. Louis City Hospital and completed his psychiatric training at Cincinnati General Hospital. In 1960, he began his psychoanalytic training and graduated from the Chicago Institute of Psychanalysis in 1966. By 1968, he had risen to the rank of associate professor of psychiatry. 

Portrait of Dr. Edgar Draper

He served as professor and director of resident education at the University of Michigan before joining the Medical Center faculty in 1975 as professor and chair of psychiatry. He served in that role until becoming professor emeritus in 1994.

The Edgar Draper, M.D., Psychiatry Support Fund honors Draper, who as chair brought the department from three to 33 faculty members and from three residents to 22. The fund supports annual recognition, including a plaque and cash gift, of a senior psychiatry resident who shows excellence as a scholar and clinician.

Throughout his academic years, Draper became deeply involved in the study and research of the psychological functions of religion and beliefs, writing a number of scientific papers and books on the subject. He was a former president of the Mississippi Psychiatric Association and was a board member of the Mental Health Association of the greater Jackson area. He was a Life Fellow in the American Psychiatric Association and served on its board of directors.

Visitation is scheduled from noon-1 p.m. with services to follow on Tuesday, Nov. 26, at the Parkway Funeral Home chapel in Ridgeland.