Richard R. Peabody
1892 – 1936
Who was Richard R. Peabody?
Richard Rogers Peabody grew up as a member of the upper class in Boston, Massachusetts. He attended Groton, where his grandfather was headmaster, and later enrolled at Harvard as had many of his family before him. He married Polly Jacob, the daughter of another blue-blooded Boston family with whom he had two children. He served as a Captain during World War I in the American Expeditionary Force.
Upon returning from World War I he became an alcoholic. His lost his inheritance because of his drinking and his wife to an affair. After their divorce, he sought help through the Emmanuel Movement and later wrote a book, The Common Sense of Drinking, in which he described a secularized treatment methodology. He was the first authority to proclaim that there was no cure for alcoholism. His book became a best seller and was a major influence on Alcoholics Anonymous founder Bill Wilson. He died of alcoholism at age 44.
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