The distinguished psychiatrist Dr R.D. Laing collapsed and died

yesterday while playing tennis on holiday in the South of France. He was


Born and brought up in Gorbals in Glasgow, Dr Laing was one of the

most distinguished intellectuals Scotland has produced. His 1960 book,

The Divided Self, was one of the seminal influences on the intellectual

shape of the decade, selling 380,000 copies in paperback.

Ronald Laing graduated from Glasgow University in medicine in 1951 and

spent two years as a psychiatrist in the Army before taking up a post at

the Royal Mental Hospital in the city. Later he moved to the Tavistock

Clinic in London. There his ideas on the nature and treatment of mental

illness found their time and The Divided Self was followed by The Self

and Others and a succession of influential publications, including his

collection of existential verse, Knots.

At the beginning of this decade he published his autobiography, Facts

of Life, and a recently completed book is currently at the editing


Dr Laing leaves four children by his first wife, Anne, and three by

his second wife, Jutta. His youngest son Charles was born to girlfriend

Margharita two-and-a-half years ago.