Timothy Leary

  • Born: October 22, 1920
  • Died: May 31, 1996
  • Location: Beverly Hills, California


Timothy Leary, Harvard professor

Counter-culture drug guru dies at 75

Timothy Leary, the counter-culture drug guru who advised the world in 1967 to "turn on, tune in and drop out," died Friday, May 31, 1996 at his home in Beverly Hills, a family friend said. He was 75.

Leary, who had been suffering from prostate cancer, was surrounded by friends and family at his death, the friend said. The former Havard professor, psychologist, author and lecturer had for the past six months looked forward to his death with childlike anticipation, speculating at one point that he might slip out on a tab of LSD. "I think the most interesting part of my life, I think, is when your heart stops for between two and 15 minutes. Because time doesn't exist then. When the body's gone and you've got 120 billion neurons whirring, its like LSD," he said. "More can happen in a minute than in a thousand lifetimes."

Born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1920, Leary attended West Point, joined the Army and earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Alabama while still in the service. He went to Harvard where he embarked on controlled experiments with mind-altering drugs and was fired in 1963 for using undergraduate students in the tests.

Leary's experiments with mind-altering drugs made the name of the West Point cadet, actor, gubernatorial candidate, stand-up comic and convict synonymous with the excesses of the 1960s. During the 1970s, his fame was diminished after he was jailed on convictions for drug charges as well as jail breaks during which he fled to Africa and Europe. He later turned up in Hollywood and became a regular on the party circuit.

Condolence & Memory Journal

Ann, thank you for sharing this e-mail but most iatnrpmot thank you for this website. I check it every day to see how you are doing and I am a complete stranger to you. You and your husband have always been special but more so now than ever before. You are on our prayer list at church and also on my own. Not only do I pray for healing for you but also for God's strength that surpasses our own understanding.

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Ann: I keep you and your family in my preyars everyday. I have been reading on your site for some time, you are an inspiration to me and i do wish you all the best.I am glad you were able to receive your treatments today and sad that you have a hard time afterwards i do hope that will get better, in our thoughts alwaysThe Fischers

Posted by Gaurav - 1Fy9xrVh4, TX - 2BHrigYLk7b   June 14, 2015

The good professor was cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs...

Posted by C DeWitt    June 01, 2008

Thank you for giving us a means to go outside ourselves, to lose our minds, and explore the meaning of life.

Posted by Adam    May 27, 2008

he was quite far out man for the time.

Posted by teresa maracle    May 27, 2008

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Timothy Leary, Harvard professor
Timothy Leary, left, and G. Gordon Liddy
Timothy Leary and his third wife Rosemary
Timothy Leary Timothy and his wife, Barbara
Timothy Leary Timothy and his wife, Joanna
Timothy Leary suffering from cancer

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Timothy Leary Timothy in custody
Timothy Leary in 1988 photograph