Road Less Traveled author Scott Peck dies: Succumbs to cancer complications at 69

October 18, 2005

M. Scott Peck, the best-selling author of The Road Less Traveled and a writer-psychiatrist who helped popularize self-help books with a spiritual dimension, died September 25 at his home in Warren, Connecticut. He was 69.

His breakthrough book, which had weak sales initially, was published in 1978 and reached the New York Times best-seller list for the first time in 1983. All told, it spent the equivalent of more than 13 years on the list after that, according to the Times.

The book, which begins, “Life is difficult,” goes on to urge self-discipline to solve personal problems. In his preface Peck wrote, “I make no distinction between the mind and the spirit, and therefore no distinction between the process of achieving spiritual growth and achieving mental growth.”

Peck’s death was caused by complications of pancreatic and liver duct cancers, said friend and publicist Michael Levine.