Benjamin Spock

Physician

1903 – 1998

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Who was Benjamin Spock?

Benjamin McLane Spock was an American pediatrician whose book Baby and Child Care, published in 1946, is one of the biggest best-sellers of all time. Throughout its first 52 years, Baby and Child Care was the second-best-selling book, next to the Bible. Its message to mothers is that "you know more than you think you do."

Spock was the first pediatrician to study psychoanalysis to try to understand children's needs and family dynamics. His ideas about childcare influenced several generations of parents to be more flexible and affectionate with their children, and to treat them as individuals. In addition to his pediatric work, Spock was an activist in the New Left and anti Vietnam War movements during the 1960s and early 1970s. At the time his books were criticized by Vietnam War supporters for allegedly propagating permissiveness and an expectation of instant gratifications that led young people to join these movements, a charge Spock denied. Spock also won an Olympic gold medal in rowing in 1924 while attending Yale University.

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Born
May 2, 1903
New Haven
Also known as
  • Benjamin McLane Spock
  • Dr. Benjamin Spock
  • Benjamin Spock M.D.
Siblings
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Education
  • Yale University
  • Columbia University
  • Phillips Academy
  • Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Yale School of Medicine
Died
Mar 15, 1998
La Jolla

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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