Robert N. Akeley, MD

Class Year




Posted on: April 24, 2024

Robert grew up in Gardiner, Maine, where his father was rector of the Episcopal Church, and graduated from Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va. At Princeton his roommates included Ben Pepper, Bob Jennings, Larry Keyes, Charlie Ganoe, Bill Huston, and Woozy Supplee. A member of Cottage Club, as a distance runner he captained our track team, competed in many major indoor and outdoor East Coast track meets, and twice ran the mile against the great four-minute miler, Roger Bannister.

Robert graduated from the University of Virginia Medical School and spent two years at the Carl Jung Institute in Zurich before establishing a private psychiatry practice in San Francisco, where he helped found a school for autistic children and a gay doctors group.

In 1997 he closed his office and began seeing himself more as an artist than a doctor. Purchasing an old house and barn in Oakland, he made it a community center for art shows, concerts, benefits, and community gatherings. A largely self-taught artist, he exhibited his work throughout the area, and he remained famously opinionated and fiercely independent until he passed away in Oakland on Nov. 25, 2020.