Dr. Peck was born on May 22, 1936 in New York City, the younger of two sons to David Warner Peck, a prominent lawyer and jurist, and his wife Elizabeth Saville. He married Lily Ho in 1959, and they had three children.
Dr. Peck received his B.A. degree magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1958, and his M.D. degree from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1963. From 1963 until 1972, he served in the United States Army, resigning from the position of Assistant Chief Psychiatry and Neurology Consultant to the Surgeon General of the Army with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and the Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster. From 1972 to 1983, Dr. Peck was engaged in the private practice of psychiatry in Litchfield County, Connecticut.
On March 9, 1980 at the age of 43, Dr. Peck was nondenominationally baptized by a Methodist minister in an Episcopalian convent (where he has frequently gone on retreat).
Dr. Peck's first book, The Road Less Traveled, was published by Simon & Schuster in 1978. The book has sold over six million copies to date in North America alone, and has been translated into over 20 languages.
Dr. Peck's second book, People of the Lie: The Hope For Healing Human Evil, was published by Simon & Schuster in October of 1983. It is recognized as a ground-breaking contribution to the field of psychology, and is currently a best seller in Japan.
Dr. Peck's third book, What Return Can I Make? Dimensions of the Christian Experience, was published by Simon & Schuster in December of 1985. It contains Marilyn Von Waldner's singing as well as Dr. Peck's essays and audio commentary. It was republished by Harpers (San Francisco) in the fall of 1995, under the new title, Gifts For the Journey: Treasures of the Christian Life, and is being republished again by Renaissance Press.
A fourth book entitled The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace, was published in June 1987 by Simon & Schuster and is recognized as another ground breaking contribution to the behavioral sciences.
Dr. Peck's fifth book and first work of fiction, A Bed By the Window: A Novel of Mystery and Redemption, was published by Bantam in August, 1990. It was hailed by the New York Times as "something of a miracle".
The Friendly Snowflake: A Fable of Faith, Love and Family, Dr. Peck's sixth book, and first for children as well as adults, (Turner Publishing, Inc.) and was illustrated by Dr. Peck's son, Christopher Peck, and published in October 1992.
Dr. Peck's seventh book, A World Waiting To Be Born: Civility Rediscovered, a work on organizational behavior, was published by Bantam in March 1993.