Spock, Benjamin McLane

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Spock, Benjamin McLane

Benjamin McLane Spock, 1903–98, American author and pediatrician, b. New Haven, Conn., educ. Yale (B.A., 1925) and Columbia Univ. College of Physicians and Surgeons (M.D., 1929). In 1946, Dr. Spock published The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care (later Baby and Child Care), offering parents and child-care personnel authoritative scientific and pediatric information on the care and upbringing of children, while dispelling many of the pejorative and oppressive methods of the past. The book has been a best seller for years. He was professor of child development at Western Reserve Univ.) from 1955 until 1967, when he resigned to devote himself to the campaign against the Vietnam War. In 1972 he was the presidential candidate of the People's Party, a coalition of pacifists and populists. Among his other writings are A Baby's First Year (1954), Feeding Your Baby and Child (1955), Decent and Indecent (1970), and Raising Children in a Difficult Time (1974, rev. ed. 1985).

See his autobiography (1989); biographies by L. Z. Bloom (1972) and T. Maier (1998).

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