Best remembered for founding a Tennessee spiritual community known as "The Farm," this prominent counterculture figure and member of the 1960s hippie community of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district also published numerous books and devoted himself to an activist organization called Plenty International.
He earned both bachelor's and master's degrees from San Francisco State College and went on to teach courses in creative writing, semantics, and English.
His counterculture-themed publications include Hey Beatnik!: This is the Farm Book, Amazing Dope Tales, and Haight Ashbury Flashbacks.
A native of Denver, Colorado, he later lived in San Francisco, California, and ultimately settled in Summertown, Tennessee. He was married four times: to Carol Groves (during the late 1950s); Carol Ladas (during the early 1960s); Margaret Nofziger (from the late 1960s through the mid 1970s); and professional midwife Ina May Middleton (from 1976 until his death in 2014).
He and writer Hunter S. Thompson were both American counterculture icons of the Twentieth Century.