Dr. Ernest M. Gruenberg, an expert on the epidemiology of mental disorders and a former chairman of the Department of Mental Hygiene at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, died Tuesday of multiple organ failure at Washington Hospital Center in Washington. He was 75 and lived in Bethesda.
A proponent of community care for the mentally ill, Dr. Gruenberg retired in 1981 after heading the department at Hopkins since 1975. He also served as a professor of psychiatry in the medical school.
Before joining the Hopkins faculty, he had been a professor of psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and director of the psychiatric and epidemiology research unit of the New York State Department of Mental Hygiene.
After his retirement, he moved from Cross Keys to Bethesda and was associated with the National Institute of Mental Health. Born in New York City, he was a graduate of Swarthmore College and, in 1941, of the medical school at Johns Hopkins. He also earned a public health degree at Yale.
He is survived by two sons, Nicholas Gruenberg of Newark, N.J., and Matthew Gruenberg of Brookline, Mass; a daughter, Ann Gruenberg of Mansfield, Conn.; and a sister, Hilda Krech Stanislawski of Berkeley, Calif.