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Dr. Benjamin Spock
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Dr. Benjamin Spock  (1903-1998) s2231

Perhaps Dr. Spock’s first thoughts of child rearing were when his busy parents expected him to help care for his five younger siblings.  He did help raise them and later became one of the foremost experts in the field.

During undergraduate studies at Yale he was a member of the Scroll and Key rowing team that went on to win a gold medal at the 1924 Olympics in Paris.  He then attended medical school at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York where in 1929 he graduated first in his class.  His residency training in pediatrics was at Cornell University, then in psychiatry at Cornell’s Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic.   

After serving as a psychiatrist in World War II, he held professorships at three different universities.  Shortly after the war, in 1946, Dr. Spock published his first book, The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, which became a best seller.  According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it outsold all books in the non-fiction category except the Bible.  His second wife, Mary Morgan, helped him revise the book in 1976.  

I met and photographed him in 1987 when he was 84 years old.  He was in amazing physical condition for a man of that age so it didn’t surprise me very much when he gave me his address to send the photo.  He and his wife lived aboard their sailboat at the island of St. Thomas.

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