Morgan Scott Peck was born in New York City. A graduate of the Friends Seminary, a Quaker school, he earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard College in 1958 before entering the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Upon earning his M.D., he served in the U.S. Army, resigning in 1972 as a lieutenant colonel, assistant chief psychiatrist and neurology consultant to the U.S. Army surgeon general. He had a private psychiatry practice in Connecticut from 1972 to 1983.
Peck is known worldwide for his best-selling books for adults and children, utilizing his background in medicine, psychiatry and theology. Readers have come to know his works through hard cover, paperback and audio versions, and his works have been translated into numerous languages. His first and perhaps best known book, The Road Less Traveled, was published in 1978. His later books, The Different Drum (1987), and A World Waiting to be Born (1993), were powerful calls for building community, peacemaking, and civility in the world.
In 1984, Scotty, as he was known to his friends, and 11 other colleagues co-founded The Foundation for Community Encouragement (FCE). This nonprofit foundation, originally based in Knoxville, Tennessee, was created to promote the principles of community through community building workshops held around the world. He continued to serve the organization after retiring from its board of directors. His efforts earned him the Kaleidoscope Award for Peacemaking in 1984, the Temple International Peace Prize in 1994, and the Georgetown University Learning, Faith and Freedom Medal in 1996.
Among his other honors, in 1992 Dr. Peck was selected by the American Psychiatric Association as a distinguished psychiatrist lecturer "for his outstanding achievement in the field of psychiatry as an educator, researcher and clinician." In January 2002, he received the President's Award from Case Western Reserve for Distinguished Alumni.
M. Scott Peck died on Sept. 25, 2005 at the age of 69 after battling Parkinson’s disease and pancreatic and liver duct cancer. The body of his work continues to inspire and lead people around the world. M. Scott Peck’s call for discipline, love and grace and the pursuit of community has created a legacy that will impact the quality of relationships for generations to come.