Dr. Benjamin Spock


Dr. Benjamin McLane Spock, born in New Haven, Connecticut, was famous both for his book on child care and for his leadership in the peace movement. "The Commonsense Book of Baby and Child Care," published in 1946, was a dramatic contrast to earlier child-care books that favored rigid feeding schedules and warned against showing a child too much affection. Dr. Spock's book was reassuring in its support of maternal tenderness.

Spock had no major interest in politics until President John F. Kennedy's 1962 announcement that the United States had to resume nuclear testing to stay ahead of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Concluding that neither power would stop testing if it were behind, Spock joined the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE), launching his membership with an ad that warned of radioactive contamination of milk. After campaigning for Lyndon Johnson, Spock felt betrayed by the escalation of the Vietnam War. He led peace demonstrations and ran for the presidency in 1972 as a candidate of the People's party. He published a memoir, "Spock on Spock" in 1989.