Sigmund Freud Timeline

Important Dates in the Life and Career of Sigmund Freud

Dr Freud And Dog
Dr Freud And Dog. Credit: Hulton Archive - Stringer/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was an Austrian neurologist who is considered to be the father of psychoanalysis. He wrote multiple books and papers on psychology and considered himself to be more of a scientist than a doctor. Right after he graduated from university, he set up his own private practice to treat patients with psychological disorders. He didn't become particularly well-known until around 1909 and his theories, focusing largely on sexuality, were often considered scandalous or narrow.

Sigmund Freud Timeline

1856 – (May 6) Sigismund Freud was born in Freiberg, Moravia, now part of the Czech Republic, to parents Jacob and Amalia. At the age of 41, Jakob already had two children from a previous marriage, but Sigismund was the 21-year-old Amalia's first born.

1860 – After the failure of his father's business due to economic woes, the Freud family moved to Vienna, Austria, and settled in the Jewish neighborhood of Leopoldstadt.

1865 – Began attending the Gymnasium.

1873 – Graduated summa cum laude from secondary school and began studying medicine at the University of Vienna.

1878 – Changed his first name from Sigismund to Sigmund.

1881 – Received his doctorate degree in medicine.

1884 – Published a monograph, a detailed study, on cocaine.

1885 – Worked with Jean-Martin Charcot at the Salpetriere Hospital on hysteria and hypnosis.

1886 – Began his own private practice and married Martha Bernays.

1887 – Daughter Mathilda (1887-1978) was born and he first met Wilhelm Fliess.

1889 – Son Jean Martin (1889-1967) was born. The boy was named in honor of Freud's early mentor, Jean-Martin Charcot.

1891 – Son Oliver (1891-1969) was born.

1892 – Josef Breuer describes the case of Anna O. with Freud. His son, Ernst, (1892-1970) was also born.

1893 – Began formulating his seduction theory. Daughter Sophie (1893-1920) was born.

1895 – Published Studies on Hysteria with Breuer. Daughter Anna Freud (1895-1982) was born.

1896 – First used the term psychoanalysis in "Zur Ätiologie der Hysterie." His father, Jakob, died the same year.

1900 –  Published The Interpretation of Dreams.

1901 – Published The Psychopathology of Everyday Life.

1905 – Published Three Essays on Sexuality.

1906 – Began correspondence with Carl Jung.

1907 – Freud and Jung met face-to-face.

1908 – The first International Psychoanalytical Congress was held in Salzburg.

1909 – Freud made his first and only visit to the United States along with Carl Jung and Sandor Ferenczi. He had been invited by G. Stanley Hall to present a series of guest lectures at Clark University.

1913 – Jung broke from Freud and psychoanalysis. Freud's book Totem and Taboo was published.

1920 – Published Beyond the Pleasure Principle, which introduced his concept of the death instinct.

1922 – His grandson, the noted artist Lucian Freud, was born.

1923 – Published The Ego and the Id and was diagnosed with jaw cancer.

1929Civilization and its Discontents was published.

1930 – Freud's mother died.

1933 – Corresponded with Albert Einstein. The Nazis publicly burned some of Freud's books because he was Jewish.

1938 – Youngest daughter Anna Freud was arrested and interrogated by the Gestapo, so Freud moved to London with his wife and Anna to escape the Nazis.

1939 – Freud died on September 23 of cancer in London.


Jay, M.E. "Sigmund Freud." Encyclopaedia Britannica (2016).

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