This site is dedicated to Dr. Hervey Cleckley, renown psychiatrist, whose work helped define the psychopathic personality.  A video, produced by Mark Albertin, Hervey M Cleckley: A Man for All Seasons has been released to help preserve the legacy of Hervey Cleckley. Visit this site again to find details on how to obtain a copy.

Here are some excerpts from an article written by Perry M. Smith for the Augusta Chronicle.

Over these last few months, the life and legacy of Dr. Hervey Cleckley has been closely examined. Cleckley was an outstanding scholar and athlete at the Academy of Richmond County, Princeton University and the University of Georgia. In 1924, Cleckley earned a coveted Rhodes Scholarship and was off to Oxford, England for two years.

Cleckley’s athletic accomplishments include:

  1. Football and track star at the Academy of Richmond County.
  2. In college he set the University of Georgia record in both the 100 yard and 220 yard dashes. He also competed in the javelin and the sprint relays.  Cleckley was the starting halfback on the University of Georgia football team.
  3. At Oxford he earned his “Oxford Blue” in track and was the intercollegiate heavyweight boxing champion of Europe.
  4. Later, back in Augusta, he became the Southeastern open badminton champion.

After receiving his degree from Oxford in 1926, Cleckley returned home and entered the Medical College of Georgia. After completing the four-year curriculum in three years, he entered into a two-year surgical residency at MCG. Intrigued by the field of psychiatry, he shifted gears and spent the rest of his life deeply involved in trying to help people with mental issues.

Cleckley’s impact on the field of psychiatry was profound.

  1. For decades, his book, The Mask of Sanity, was the definitive work on the psychopathic personality.
  2. Along with his colleague, Corbett Thigpen, he validated the multiple personality disorder. Their book, Three Faces of Eve, sold more than 3 million copies and was translated into 14 languages.
  3. Cleckley influenced the work of many psychiatrists and psychologists both during his lifetime and for many years after his death.

Cleckley the Athlete

Hervey M Cleckley excelled in four sports during his remarkable athletic career.  He competed at the Academy of Richmond County in Augusta, the University of Georgia, Oxford University in England and later as an amateur athlete in Augusta. His most significant sports accomplishments occurred when he was a sprinter on the UGA track team. In the early 1920s, he established the University of Georgia record for the 100 yard dash and 220 yard dash. He also ran the sprint relays and tossed the javelin. At UGA he was the starting halfback on the football team.

While a Rhodes Scholar in England, he was a star sprinter and earned his “Oxford Blue” for his achievements on the track team. Also while competing for Oxford University, Cleckley became the intercollegiate heavyweight boxing champion of Europe. For this accomplishment he earned a second “Oxford Blue”. When he returned to Augusta after his two years at Oxford, he was the Southeast singles champion in badminton. His active participation in sanctioned sporting events started in high school at age fourteen and continued until his late 30s.

Hervey Cleckley

Dr. Hervey Cleckley was a world re-nown psychiatrist. His book, The Mask of Sanity, first published in 1941, quickly became the definitive work of the psychopathic personality. Cleckley revised and updated this book many times. The 5th Edition is still in print. This book has been used in medical schools throughout the world for more than seventy years.

In 1956, Cleckley and his colleague, Dr. Corbett Thigpen, published The Three Faces of Eve.This book examined the life of Chris Sizemore; it was the first book to fully validate the multiple personality. The Three Faces of Eve was a New York Times best seller, sold more than three million copies and was translated into fourteen foreign languages. As all of the authors who have been associated with the Medical College of Georgia, Cleckley is the most successful.

In 1957, the movie, The Three Faces of Eve was released. Joanne Woodward earned the best actress Academy Award in 1957 for her role as Chris Sizemore.

On many occasions Cleckley was asked to testify at important trials. An example was the 1979 trial of Ted Bundy who murdered more than thirty people. Cleckley testified that Bundy was a classic psychopath but was not criminally insane.

Dr. Cleckley taught for many years at the Medical College of Georgia sharing his wisdom with thousands of future doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. He was a mentor to many throughout the world. Today, the most prominent person in the study and analysis of the psychopathic personality is Dr. Robert Hare of the University of British Columbia. Hare acknowledges that much of his research and writing is based on the insights he gained from Dr. Cleckley.

Contact Us

Perry M. Smith, the sponsor of this web site and executive producer of the video Hervey M Cleckley: A Man for All Seasons, can be reached through his web site or though the contact form below. Anyone wishing a free copy of Hervey M Cleckley: A Man for All Seasons should contact Perry using the form below (While supplies last).