Brandt F. Steele


School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award (1977)
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
School of Medicine
M.D., 1932


Brandt F. Steele was the professor emeritus of psychiatry and the Kempe Children's Center at the University of Colorado-Boulder. He was an internationally respected psychiatrist, best known for his work in child abuse prevention. Dr. Steele received his bachelor's degree from Indiana University, where he studied under Alfred Kinsey on entomology. He earned his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine in 1932. Next, Dr. Steele interned at Boston City Hospital on a Harvard research fellowship and was head resident on a Cornell University Fellowship at Bellevue Hospital. In 1941, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, and he served in England, France, Belgium and Germany, including the Battle of the Bulge. After becoming discharged in 1945, Dr. Steel completed his residency at the University of Pennsylvania, where he went on to teach as a lecturer in psychiatry. He joined the faculty at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1958.

Dr. Steele is best known for co-authoring with C. Henry Kempe,"The Battered Child Syndrome," an article published by the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1962. With the publication of this article, there was finally an understanding of how to address and treat cases of child abuse and neglect. The article is still regarded by JAMA as one of the 50 most important contributions to medicine in the 20th century. He was instrumental in developing the National Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, now called the Kempe Children's Center. In addition, he wrote many books and dozens of papers and journal articles. He and his wife, Eleanor, co-founded the Denver Psychoanalytic Institute.