Richard Alpert earned a Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford and went on to become one of the youngest tenured professors at Harvard University. After experimenting with psychedelic drugs, he went to India and became a devotee of Neem Karoli Baba, a Hindu guru who renamed him Ram Dass or "servant of God." He studied meditation and yoga there before returning to the United States in 1971 to write Be Here Now, a book that sold more than 2 million copies and helped engender the New Age movement. Over the years, Ram Dass cofounded the Hanuman and Seva Foundations and worked with environmental organizations and the socially conscious business community. In February of 1997, he experienced a stroke which led him to write Still Here, a forward-looking book aimed at the Baby Boom generation and their fears about aging, debilitating illness, and death.
Ram Dass has served as a collective mirror for many spiritual seekers over the years with his encounter with Eastern religion, his dedication to compassionate service, and his experiences with conscious aging, illness and near death. "Wisdom is one of the few things that does not diminish with age," Ram Dass has stated. He continues to serve as a spiritual scout who is exploring the territory ahead for all of us.