118 Facts About Timothy Leary


Timothy Francis Leary was an American psychologist and author known for his strong advocacy of psychedelic drugs.


Evaluations of Leary are polarized, ranging from bold oracle to publicity hound.


Timothy Leary was "a hero of American consciousness", according to Allen Ginsberg, and Tom Robbins called him a "brave neuronaut".


Timothy Leary took LSD and developed a philosophy of mind expansion and personal truth through LSD.


Timothy Leary wrote and spoke frequently about transhumanist concepts of space migration, intelligence increase, and life extension.


Timothy Leary developed the eight-circuit model of consciousness in his book Exo-Psychology and gave lectures, occasionally calling himself a "performing philosopher".


Timothy Leary was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, an only child in an Irish Catholic household.


Timothy Leary's father, Timothy "Tote" Leary, was a dentist who left his wife Abigail Ferris when Leary was 14.


Timothy Leary attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, from 1938 to 1940.


Timothy Leary was accused of going on a drinking binge and failing to admit it, and was asked by the Honor Committee to resign.


Timothy Leary was acquitted by a court-martial, but the silencing continued, as well as the onslaught of demerits for small rule infractions.


Timothy Leary then resigned and was honorably discharged by the Army.


Timothy Leary enrolled in the university's ROTC program, maintained top grades, and began to cultivate academic interests in psychology and biology.


Timothy Leary was expelled a year later for spending a night in the female dormitory and lost his student deferment in the midst of World War II.


Timothy Leary was drafted into the United States Army and received basic training at Fort Eustis in 1943.


Timothy Leary remained in the non-commissioned officer track while enrolled in the psychology subsection of the Army Specialized Training Program, including three months of study at Georgetown University and six months at Ohio State University.


Timothy Leary remained in Deshon's deaf rehabilitation clinic for the remainder of the war.


Timothy Leary was discharged at the rank of sergeant in January 1946, having earned such standard decorations as the Good Conduct Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.


Timothy Leary completed his degree via correspondence courses and graduated in August 1945.


Timothy Leary stayed on in the Bay Area as an assistant clinical professor of medical psychology at the University of California, San Francisco; concurrently, he co-founded Kaiser Hospital's psychology department in Oakland, California, and maintained a private consultancy.


In 1952, the Timothy Leary family spent a year in Spain, living on a research grant.


Timothy Leary's marriage was strained by infidelity and mutual alcohol abuse.


From 1954 or 1955 to 1958, Timothy Leary directed psychiatric research at the Kaiser Family Foundation.


Timothy Leary's stay in Florence was unproductive and indigent, prompting a return to academe.


Timothy Leary oversaw the Harvard Psilocybin Project and conducted experiments in conjunction with assistant professor Richard Alpert.


In 1963, Timothy Leary was terminated for failing to attend scheduled class lectures, though he maintained that he had met his teaching obligations.


Timothy Leary's dissertation developed the interpersonal circumplex model, later published in The Interpersonal Diagnosis of Personality.


Timothy Leary's research was an important harbinger of transactional analysis, directly prefiguring the popular work of Eric Berne.


Anthony Russo, a colleague of Timothy Leary's, had experimented with psychedelic Psilocybe mexicana mushrooms on a trip to Mexico and told Timothy Leary about it.


Timothy Leary was inspired by Ginsberg's enthusiasm, and the two shared an optimism that psychedelics could help people discover a higher level of consciousness.


Timothy Leary experimented in treating alcoholism and reforming criminals, and many of his subjects said they had profound mystical and spiritual experiences that permanently improved their lives.


Rick Doblin suggested that Timothy Leary had fallen prey to the Halo Effect, skewing the results and clinical conclusions.


Doblin further accused Timothy Leary of lacking "a higher standard" or "highest ethical standards in order to regain the trust of regulators".


Harvard President Nathan Pusey released a statement on May 27,1963, reporting that Timothy Leary had left campus without authorization and "failed to keep his classroom appointments".


One of the IFIF's founding board members, Paul Lee, a Harvard theologian, a participant at Marsh Chapel and a member of the Timothy Leary circle, said of the group's formation:.


Timothy Leary married model Birgitte Caroline "Nena" von Schlebrugge in 1964 at Millbrook.


Timothy Leary married Indo-Tibetan Buddhist scholar and ex-monk Robert Thurman in 1967 and gave birth to Ganden Thurman that same year.


Timothy Leary met Rosemary Woodruff in 1965 at a New York City art exhibit, and invited her to Millbrook.


Woodruff helped Timothy Leary prepare weekend multimedia workshops simulating the psychedelic experience, which were presented around the East Coast.


In September 1966, Timothy Leary said in a Playboy magazine interview that LSD could cure homosexuality.


Timothy Leary was one of several expert witnesses called to testify at these hearings.


Timothy Leary incorporated the League for Spiritual Discovery as a religious organization in New York State, and its dogma was based on Timothy Leary's mantra: "drop out, turn on, tune in".


In late 1966 and early 1967, Timothy Leary toured college campuses presenting a multimedia performance called "The Death of the Mind", attempting an artistic replication of the LSD experience.


Timothy Leary said that the League for Spiritual Discovery was limited to 360 members and was already at its membership limit, but encouraged others to form their own psychedelic religions.


Timothy Leary published a pamphlet in 1967 called Start Your Own Religion to encourage people to do so.


Timothy Leary was invited to attend the January 14,1967 Human Be-In by Michael Bowen, the primary organizer of the event, a gathering of 30,000 hippies in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.


In speaking to the group, Timothy Leary coined the famous phrase "Turn on, tune in, drop out".


In November 1967, Timothy Leary engaged in a televised debate on drug use with MIT professor Jerry Lettvin.


Timothy Leary believed that the first four of these circuits are naturally accessed by most people at transition points in life such as puberty.


The second four circuits, Timothy Leary wrote, were "evolutionary offshoots" of the first four that would be triggered at transition points as humans evolve further.


Timothy Leary suggested that some people might trigger these circuits sooner through meditation, yoga, or psychedelic drugs specific to each circuit.


Timothy Leary suggested that the feelings of floating and uninhibited motion sometimes experienced with marijuana demonstrated the purpose of the higher four circuits.


Timothy Leary did not specify the location of the eight circuits in any brain structures, neural organization, or chemical pathways.


Timothy Leary wrote that a higher intelligence "located in interstellar nuclear-gravitational-quantum structures" gave humans the eight circuits.


Many researchers believed that Timothy Leary provided little scientific evidence for his claims.


Eysenck, wrote that Timothy Leary created a confusing and overly broad rubric for testing psychiatric conditions.


In place of scientific data about the effects of LSD, Timothy Leary used metaphors about "galaxies spinning" faster than the speed of light and a cerebral cortex "turned on to a much higher voltage".


Timothy Leary took his two children, Jack and Susan, and his girlfriend Rosemary Woodruff to Mexico for an extended stay to write a book.


Timothy Leary appealed the case on the basis that the Marihuana Tax Act was unconstitutional, as it required a degree of self-incrimination in blatant violation of the Fifth Amendment.


On December 26,1968, Timothy Leary was arrested again in Laguna Beach, California, this time for the possession of two marijuana "roaches".


Timothy Leary alleged that they were planted by the arresting officer, but was convicted of the crime.


On May 19,1969, The Supreme Court concurred with Leary in Leary v United States, declared the Marihuana Tax Act unconstitutional, and overturned his 1965 conviction.


On that same day, Timothy Leary announced his candidacy for governor of California against the Republican incumbent, Ronald Reagan.


On January 21,1970, Timothy Leary received a ten-year sentence for his 1968 offense, with a further ten added later while in custody for a prior arrest in 1965, for a total of 20 years to be served consecutively.


Timothy Leary sought the patronage of Eldridge Cleaver for $10,000 and the remnants of the Black Panther Party's "government in exile" in Algeria, but after a short stay with them said that Cleaver had attempted to hold him and his wife hostage.


In 1971, the couple fled to Switzerland, where they were sheltered and effectively imprisoned by a high-living arms dealer, Michel Hauchard, who claimed he had an "obligation as a gentleman to protect philosophers"; Hauchard intended to broker a surreptitious film deal, and forced Timothy Leary to assign his future earnings.


Shortly after his separation from Rosemary in 1972, Timothy Leary became involved with Swiss-born British socialite Joanna Harcourt-Smith, a stepdaughter of financier Arpad Plesch and ex-girlfriend of Hauchard.


Timothy Leary testified further that he had a valid passport in Kabul and that it was confiscated while he was in a line at the American Embassy in Kabul a few days prior to the day when he boarded the airplane; after his passport was confiscated, he was taken to "Central Police Headquarters"; he did not attempt to contact the American Embassy; the Kabul police held him in custody and took him to a "police hotel".


The cousin of the King of Afghanistan came to see him and told him that it was a national holiday, that the King and the officials were out of Kabul, and that he would get a lawyer and see that Timothy Leary "had a hearing".


Timothy Leary replied he would not leave without a hearing and until he got his passport back; they said the Americans had his passport, and he was taken to the airplane.


Timothy Leary mostly directed his own defense strategy, which proved unsuccessful: the jury convicted him after deliberating for less than two hours.


Timothy Leary received five years for his prison escape, added to his original 10-year sentence.


Timothy Leary became an FBI informant in order to shorten his prison sentence and entered the witness protection program upon his release in 1976.


Timothy Leary claimed that he feigned cooperation with the FBI investigation of Weathermen by providing information that they already had or that was of little consequence.


In 1999, a letter from 22 "Friends of Timothy Leary" sought to soften impressions of the FBI episode.


The letter said that Timothy Leary had smuggled a message to the Weather Underground informing it "that he was considering making a deal with the FBI" and he then "waited for their approval".


Cox had taken the drug after attending a lecture by Timothy Leary promoting LSD use.


Timothy Leary was unable to be present due to his incarceration, and unable to arrange for legal representation; a default judgment was entered against him in the amount of $100,000.


Timothy Leary then moved to the Laurel Canyon neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, where he resided for the rest of his life.


Timothy Leary adopted Blum's young son Zachary and raised him as his own.


Timothy Leary took on several godchildren, including Winona Ryder and technologist Joi Ito.


Timothy Leary generally espoused left-wing views, while Liddy generally espoused right-wing perspectives.


On September 25,1988, Timothy Leary held a fundraiser for Libertarian Party presidential candidate Ron Paul.


Timothy Leary's extensive touring on the lecture circuit continued to ensure his family a comfortable lifestyle throughout the mid-1980s.


Timothy Leary associated with a variety of cultural figures, including longtime interlocutors Robert Anton Wilson and Allen Ginsberg; science fiction writers William Gibson and Norman Spinrad; and rock musicians David Byrne and John Frusciante.


Timothy Leary continued to take a wide array of drugs in private, but consciously eschewed proselytizing substances in media appearances amid the escalation of the war on drugs throughout the presidency of Ronald Reagan.


Timothy Leary expounded on the eight-circuit model of consciousness in books such as Info-Psychology: A Re-Vision of Exo-Psychology.


Timothy Leary was ruled mentally unfit to stand trial for murder on two occasions.


From 1989 on, Timothy Leary began to reestablish his connection to unconventional religious movements with an interest in altered states of consciousness.


Timothy Leary's planned 1994 WinterStar Symposium appearance was canceled due to his declining health.


In January 1995, Timothy Leary was diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer.


Timothy Leary then notified Ram Dass and other old friends and began the process of directed dying, which he termed "designer dying".


Timothy Leary wrote about his belief that death is "a merging with the entire life process".


Timothy Leary was noted for his trademark "Leary Biscuit", a cannabis edible consisting of a snack cracker with cheese and a small marijuana bud, briefly microwaved.


Timothy Leary was reportedly excited for a number of years by the possibility of freezing his body in cryonic suspension, and he announced in September 1988 that he had signed up with Alcor for such treatment after having appeared at Alcor's grand opening the year before.


Timothy Leary did not believe he would be resurrected in the future, but did believe that cryonics had important possibilities, even though he thought it had only "one chance in a thousand".


Timothy Leary called it his "duty as a futurist", helped publicize the process and hoped that it would work for his children and grandchildren if not for him, although he said that he was "lighthearted" about it.


Timothy Leary initially announced that he would freeze his entire body, but due to lack of funds decided to freeze his head only.


Timothy Leary then changed his mind again and requested that his body be cremated, with his ashes scattered in space.


Timothy Leary's death was videotaped for posterity at his request by Denis Berry and Joey Cavella, capturing his final words.


Timothy Leary uttered the phrase repeatedly, in different intonations, and died soon after.


The film Timothy Leary's Dead contains a simulated sequence in which he allows his bodily functions to be suspended for the purposes of cryonic preservation.


Seven grams of Timothy Leary's ashes were arranged by his friend at Celestis to be buried in space aboard a rocket carrying the remains of 23 others, including Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, space colonization advocate Gerard O'Neill and German-American rocket engineer Krafft Ehricke.


Timothy Leary was legally married five times, sired three biological children and adopted a fourth child.


Timothy Leary regarded Joanna Harcourt-Smith as his common-law wife for the duration of their relationship.


Timothy Leary was an early influence on applying game theory to psychology, having introduced the concept to the International Association of Applied Psychology in 1961 at its annual conference in Copenhagen.


Timothy Leary coined the influential term reality tunnel, a kind of representative realism.


Timothy Leary's ideas influenced the work of his friend Robert Anton Wilson.


World religion scholar Huston Smith was "turned on" by Timothy Leary after being introduced to him by Aldous Huxley in the early 1960s.


In 1994, Timothy Leary appeared as himself in the Space Ghost Coast to Coast episode "Elevator", and appeared in an episode of The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.


In 1996, months before his death, Timothy Leary appeared in the feminist science fiction feature film Conceiving Ada.


Timothy Leary recruited Lennon to write a theme song for his California gubernatorial campaign against Ronald Reagan, inspiring Lennon to come up with "Come Together", based on Timothy Leary's campaign theme and catchphrase.


Timothy Leary was present and sang when Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, recorded "Give Peace a Chance" during their bed-in in Montreal and is mentioned in the lyrics of the song.


Timothy Leary is credited as a songwriter, and his lyrics and vocals can be heard throughout the album.


In 1995, Timothy Leary had a cameo at the end of the music video for the song "Galaxie" by alternative rock group Blind Melon.


Timothy Leary authored and coauthored more than 20 books and was featured on more than a dozen audio recordings.


Timothy Leary's acting career included over a dozen appearances in movies and television shows in various roles and over 30 appearances as himself.


In 2011, The New York Times reported that the New York Public Library had acquired Leary's personal archives, including papers, videotapes, photographs and other archival material from the Leary estate, including correspondence and documents relating to Allen Ginsberg, Aldous Huxley, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Ken Kesey, Arthur Koestler, G Gordon Liddy and other prominent cultural figures.