Richard Alpert: Life Story, Bio and Facts

Who is Richard Alpert?

Richard Alpert, also known as Ram Dass, was an American spiritual teacher, author, and psychologist. He was born in 1931 and graduated from Tufts University and Harvard University, where he earned a Ph.D. in psychology. He began his career as a professor of psychology at Harvard, but left academia in the early 1960s to explore spiritual practices such as meditation and psychedelic drugs.

Alpert traveled to India in 1967, where he met his spiritual teacher, Neem Karoli Baba, and was given the name Ram Dass, which means "servant of God." He returned to the US and began teaching and writing about spiritual practices and self-exploration. He became a popular figure in the counterculture movement of the 1960s and 1970s and wrote several best-selling books including "Be Here Now" which is considered a spiritual classic. Ram Dass continued to be an influential figure in the spiritual community, giving talks and workshops, and also founded the non-profit Seva Foundation in 1978, which works to alleviate suffering caused by poverty, disease, and social injustice.


Ram Dass died on December 22, 2019, at the age of 88.

Richard Alpert Fast Facts

Richard Alpert (born April 6, 1931), also known as Ram Dass, is an American spiritual teacher, psychologist, and author. He is best known for his work in the field of spiritual transformation, and for being a prominent figure in the counterculture movement of the 1960s and 1970s.
* Alpert was born in Newton, Massachusetts and grew up in a Jewish family. He earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford University and Harvard University.
* In the 1960s, Alpert and Timothy Leary, his colleague at Harvard, conducted research on psychedelic drugs, such as LSD and psilocybin, which led to their dismissal from the university.
* After his dismissal, Alpert traveled to India where he met Neem Karoli Baba, a Hindu saint, who gave him the name Ram Dass, which means "servant of God."
* Under the guidance of Neem Karoli Baba, Alpert began to focus on spiritual practices such as meditation, yoga, and service.
* He wrote the best-selling book "Be Here Now" in 1971 which became a spiritual classic and has been translated into several languages.
* Alpert has taught and lectured extensively on spiritual practices and transformation, and has been a guiding figure for many people seeking a deeper understanding of themselves and the world.
* In 1997, he suffered a stroke which left him partially paralyzed and required him to use a wheelchair. He continues to teach and write, and works to help others through his non-profit organization, the Hanuman Foundation.
* Alpert is considered a pioneer in the field of spiritual transformation and has influenced thousands of people with his teachings and writings on mindfulness, compassion, and self-discovery.
* He is also known for his work on the integration of Eastern spiritual practices with Western psychology, and has been an advocate for the use of psychedelic substances in therapy and spiritual exploration.
* Alpert has been a guest speaker at various events, conferences, and universities and has appeared on numerous television shows and documentaries.
* He has also been a mentor and spiritual teacher to many, including the author and spiritual teacher Ram Dass.
* Alpert has written several other books, including "The Only Dance There Is" and "Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing, and Dying."
* He has also been involved in several humanitarian and social justice causes, including working with prisoners, the dying and their families, and people with HIV/AIDS.
* In recent years, Alpert has focused on the use of technology to share his teachings and reach a wider audience, through his podcast and website.

Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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