Known for his important 1969 psychological book Love and Will, he also penned such existential and humanistic-themed works as The Courage to Create and The Meaning of Anxiety. In 1971, he founded San Francisco's Humanistic Psychology Institute (Saybrook University).
After graduating from Oberlin College (in Ohio) with a degree in English, he earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree from the Union Theological Seminary in New York. He went on to receive a PhD in psychology from Columbia University.
During his childhood in Ohio, he was often left to care for his schizophrenic sister, a circumstance that undoubtedly influenced his decision to devote his life to the study of psychology.
He settled in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Georgia.
While teaching at Greece's Anatolia College, he became acquainted with personality and individual psychology expert Alfred Adler .