Timothy Leary, who died in 1996, was an American psychologist who became one of the chief proponents of the powers of LSD. Along the way, he was a prolific writer, lecturer and all around counterculture icon, as well as a very early adopter of the Internet.
His phrase "Turn on, tune in, and drop out" became one of the most well-known sayings of the 1960s. During that decade, he spent several years living in a mansion near Millbrook, N.Y., where he and many visitors would experiment with and document their use of LSD.
This image of Leary was drawn by one of those guests, and while it's not certain that the artist was under the influence of the hallucinogen, the style of the piece leaves little to the imagination.
The trustees of the Timothy Leary archives will have a gallery show in San Francisco on Sunday to let the public see some of the items contained in the more than 400 cartons of materials Leary accumulated during his lifetime. Leary's estate is trying to sell the archives and is hoping someone will buy the material and donate it to an institution like the U.S. Library of Congress. The archives were recently appraised and valued at more than $1 million.
Correction: This slide show originally had incorrect credits for photos 8, 9, and 16.
Photo by: Daniel Terdiman/CNET News, of portrait by unknown artist
/ Caption by:Daniel Terdiman
Leary was very interested in technology, even going so far as to put his name to a late-1980s video game that was published by Electronic Arts called Mind Mirror. He also had a very early Web site. This is the Macintosh LC III computer he worked on prior to his death.
Leary was a prolific correspondent and had many well-known friends and acquaintances. He wrote often to Aldous Huxley, the English writer, and his wife. Huxley shared an interest in hallucinogens with Leary, and they discussed the subject in their letters.
A collection of cards, tickets and badges Leary accumulated over the years. This collection includes a ticket to Leary's "Terra II: A Way Out," a lecture about his views on outer space as a place for human spiritual transcendence.
Leary was a co-creator of Mind Mirror: The Thought Processing Appliance, a video game for Electronic Arts in 1988. The game was based on Leary's work on "psycho-metrics from the 1950s and allows people to define, compare and role play personalities," according to the official Web site of Leary's archives. "One of the most innovative ideas about the program is that role playing someone else will teach you about yourself and others."
The game was available for the PC, Apple II, and Commodore 64. This is an original game disk and manual.
One box in the archives is full of computer disks, both 5.25-inch floppies and more recent 3.5-inch disks. The box reflects his wide interests and includes games, his writing, and other documents and applications.
The June 4, 1937, issue of The Classical Recorder from Classical High School, in Springfield, Mass., featured a lead article reporting that Leary had been named the paper's editor for the following school year.
"During the past year Tim has distinguished himself as a sports reporter; a number of sparkling hockey, basketball, baseball and intramural write-ups have come from his pen," the paper reported. "He also has to his credit several lead news articles and a number of the best editorials of the year."
One box in the archives was full of nothing but T-shirts. This one touted Hustler publisher Larry Flynt running for president in 1984, when he ran as a Republican on a platform promoting sexual education and intelligence.
The FBI raided Leary's Millbrook, N.Y., mansion, several times, attempting to stop the LSD experiments going on there, which it eventually succeeded at. In 1966, one of the raids was carried out by G. Gordon Liddy, who later became famous for being part of the Watergate scandal and was imprisoned for his role.
Leary himself was also imprisoned for several years for drug crimes and for escaping from prison. After both Leary and Liddy were released, they formed an unlikely partnership and began a discussion and performance tour together.
The documentary film, Timothy Leary's Dead was made in 1996, the same year he died. The film looked at Leary's life and featured this death mask of him. He participated in the film's making, though he died before it was completed.