Florence Denmark was born in Philadelphia on January 28, 1932. She was part of a large family, raised by a lawyer and a musician. Denmark grew up in Philadelphia and attended the University of Pennsylvania. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1952, earning degrees in both psychology and history. She stayed at the university to obtain her Ph.D. and graduated in 1958 with a doctorate in social psychology. After her graduation, Denmark took a teaching position at Queens College in New York. It was here that she met Marcia Guttentag, a friend and colleague with whom she began to explore the effects of racial integration, college for older women, and the psychological impact felt by immigrants within the country.
Denmark left Queens College to take a position at Hunter College in 1964. After ten years, she received full professorship and went on to hold the distinguished position as the first recipient of the Robert Scott Pace Professorship at Pace University. Denmark has held many esteemed positions throughout her career, including president of the American Psychological Association. She founded the organizations Division on the Psychology of Women and has received many awards for her numerous contributions to her field, including the Senior Leadership Award from the Committee on Women in Psychology, the Carolyn Wood Sherif Memorial Lectureship from the Psychology of Women, and the Association for Women in Psychology Distinguished Career Award.
Contribution to Psychology
Denmark focused much of her studies on the psychology of women and was an integral part of forwarding the movement for the research of women in the mental health field. She is seen by many, because of her tireless efforts and years of research in the field, as the founder of the field of psychology of women. As a result of her work, The Psychology of Women was published, followed by Denmark’s own Woman: Dependent or Independent Variable? Denmark has been a pioneer in bringing to light the achievements of women in psychology. Denmark advocates for the empowerment of women and strives to enlighten and encourage all women to continue to work toward their full potential, as she herself continues to support women of all ages through her work with the United Nations and other organizations throughout the world.