Oct. 9, 1920 – Aug. 24, 2016
George L. Mallory, M.D., was a prominent educator, psychiatrist, and civil rights activist in Los Angeles for over 62 years.
Dr. Mallory was born to his mother Julia Mallory, a domestic worker, and his father Oscar Mallory, a railroad worker. Despite being raised in the segregated South, Dr. Mallory found many positive influences in his family and the community of Richmond, Va. that served as the guiding principles and focus of his life.
Dr. Mallory spent his early adolescent life in the city of his birth, however it did not appear that living in the south would allow him to achieve his aspiration to become a medical doctor. In an attempt to escape the oppression of racism and in an effort to achieve his professional dreams, a young George Mallory moved north to New York. In 1939, after completing DeWitt Clinton High School in New York City, he matriculated to the City College of New York from 1940 to 1942.
His educational career was interrupted however from 1942 to 1945 while he valiantly served his country in the United States Army during WWII. Shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, when the United States declared war on Japan, Germany, and Italy, Mallory was deployed to the Pacific theater in Hawaii. He was stationed in that region until his Honorable Discharge which coincided with the end of WWII.
Undeterred from his educational goals and professional dreams, he attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. from 1946 to 1949, where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree. Working at the US Post Office at night, George Mallory enrolled in the Howard University, College of Medicine from 1949 to 1953. While married to Anna P. Mallory and raising two children, Lydia and George, Jr., he was awarded his Medical Degree.
In 1954, after completing his internship he moved his family to Los Angeles, where he completed his residency in psychiatry. In 1960, Dr. Mallory became a Board Certified Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. As one of the few uniquely qualified African American Board Certified Psychiatrist in the country, Dr. Mallory dedicated his professional life to poor and underprivileged communities while he served as a clinical instructor, assistant clinical professor, and associate clinical professor at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. In addition, he served as an associate clinical professor at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine, as well as an associate clinical professor at Charles R. Drew University School of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles.
Consistent with his lifetime commitment, after the 1965 Watts riots, Dr. Mallory joined his colleagues and community leaders in their efforts to heal a nation. He decided he could be of most service by working in the troubled and medically under-served South Los Angeles region. In the aftermath of the riots, Governor Pat Brown appointed a commission to identify factors which contributed to the unrest. One of the major findings of the commission was the lack of health care access near the low income neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles.
Continually committed to making a difference, Dr. Mallory was one of the initial staff members at the Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center (“King/Drew”) in Watts/Willowbrook, the first full-service community and teaching hospital developed in response to the commission’s findings. Dr. Mallory authored the original concept document that resulted in funding to construct the Augustus F. Hawkins Mental Health Building on the MLK Campus.
During 30 years of continuous service, from 1959 to 1989, with the County of Los Angeles at the Los Angeles County USC Medical Center and King Drew Medical Center, Dr. Mallory served in numerous capacities from a staff psychiatrist to chief of adult psychiatry at King Drew Hospital. Dr. Mallory also served as the venerable director of residency training at the King-Drew Medical Center for many years. Notably, as a result of the remarkable instruction, direction, and mentorship he imparted to residents, the hospital psychiatric library was named in his honor. In 1991, he was called out of retirement and asked to serve as the interim chairman for the department of psychiatry at MLK Hospital, which he accepted.
Beginning in 1960, Dr. Mallory maintained continuous membership and involvement in the National Medical Association, the Southern California Psychiatric Society, and the Charles R. Drew Medical Society. From 1965 to 1973, Dr. Mallory served as the president of the Black Psychiatrists of Southern California. In 1975, he became a fellow in the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and was elected to the position of recorder of the assembly. Later Dr. Mallory became a life member and in 1988 was selected as a distinguished life fellow of the APA. As an active member of the Black Psychiatrists of America (BPA), Dr. Mallory was selected as the chairperson of the council of elders as a result of the knowledge and wisdom he imparted to the organization. Indeed, in 2014, the BPA bestowed its life time achievement award upon Dr. Mallory.
During his remarkable life journey, the renowned Dr. Mallory excelled in his profession and achieved an outstanding reputation while working for the County of Los Angeles and maintaining a successful private practice. Moreover, he received numerous proclamations and awards for the amazing work that he performed during his career.
After retiring from the County of Los Angeles, Dr. Mallory continued to work into his 90s as a founding member of D’Veal Family and Youth Services in Pasadena. Again, Dr. Mallory continued his life-long commitment to the under-served families and youth in crisis and in need of assistance to survive some of life’s most unfortunate circumstances.
A long-time resident of Pasadena, in the early 1960’s, Dr. Mallory married Rose Jenkins, M.D., a well-known adolescent child psychiatrist. Dr. Jenkins had two children, Marsha and Karen Hamilton. In 1965 Lloyd Mallory was born to their union. Dr. Jenkins passed away in 1986.
On Sept. 1, 1990, Dr. Mallory married Naomi Booker. Booker had four children, Andre’, Melody, Eric, and Karlos Booker. George and Naomi would have been married 26 years on Sept. 1, 2016.
Outside of his career, Dr. Mallory had tremendous love and commitment to his family. He leaves numerous loved ones including his wife Naomi Booker Mallory and his children Lydia Patton (pre deceased), George L. Mallory, Jr., and Lloyd Mallory. In addition, he leaves his stepchildren, including Marsha Hamilton, Karen Hamilton, Melody Booker, Andre’ Booker, Eric Booker, Karlos Booker, as well as his grandchildren, great grandchildren, and a host of relatives and many friends.
Private family ceremonies have been held. In the prolific and inspirational words of Dr. Mallory, he would tell those who survived him to “Keep on Your Journey.”