Peck, M. Scott 1936–2005

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Peck, M. Scott 1936–2005

(Morgan Scott Peck)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born May 22, 1936, in New York, NY; died of complications from pancreatic and liver duct cancers, September 25, 2005, in Warren, CT. Psychiatrist and author. Peck became famous for his first self-help book, 1978's The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth. A 1958 graduate of Harvard University, he later earned his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1963. That year, Peck enlisted in the U.S. Army, reasoning that it would be the least-expensive way to complete his education. Serving through 1972, he did his internship in Honolulu and his residency in San Francisco, becoming chief of the psychology department at the U.S. Army Medical Center in Okinawa, Japan from 1967 to 1970. During his last two years with the military, Peck was assistant chief of psychiatry and neurology for the office of the surgeon general in Washington, DC. Upon leaving the army in 1972 with the rank of lieutenant colonel, he then went into private practice in New Preston, Connecticut. Peck, who often acknowledged his character flaws, including his infidelity in his first marriage, became a best-selling author with The Road Less Traveled. The book advises that readers overcome life's inevitable adversities through self-discipline. While a number of critics complained that Peck combined spirituality and psychology in his advice, the book gained a wide following and made Peck a wealthy man. He soon found himself considered a guru of sorts, and made a lucrative living by traveling and giving lectures. He also continued to publish advice and inspirational books, such as People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil (1983), Further along the Road Less Traveled: The Unending Journey toward Spiritual Growth (1993), and The Road Less Traveled and Beyond: Spiritual Growth in an Age of Anxiety (1997). In addition to his nonfiction, Peck penned the novels A Bed by the Window: A Novel of Mystery and Redemption (1990) and In Heaven as On Earth: A Vision of the Afterlife (1996), as well as the children's story The Friendly Snowflake: A Fable of Faith, Love, and Family (1992). His last book was the nonfiction Glimpses of the Devil (2005).



Chicago Tribune, September 28, 2005, section 1, p. 9.

Los Angeles Times, September 28, 2005, p. B11.

New York Times, September 28, 2005, p. A25.

Times (London, England), October 1, 2005, p. 71.

Washington Post, September 28, 2005, p. B6.