Watts, Alan 
Search Timelines:

Time Period
1/6/1915  - 11/16/1973
Born outside of London, Alan Watts (1915-73) grew disenchanted with the Church of England as a boy and became fascinated with Buddhism. From 1934 to 1938, he edited The Middle Way, a British Buddhist journal. He also wrote a booklet on Zen Buddhism, the first of many works to come.

Watts moved to New York in 1938. He studied Zen, lectured locally and wrote The Meaning of Happiness. He moved to Chicago, where he attended seminary and was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1944. He left the church after six years and resumed his pursuit of Eastern spirituality.

In 1951, Watts began teaching Buddhism at what is now the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. In 1953, he also launched a radio talk show, becoming a guru for his counterculture audience.

By the time of his death, he had published 26 books and given hundreds of lectures.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Religious Minorities (Non-Christian)
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Religious Minorities (Non-Christian) in American History
Religious Groups
Timeline Entries for the same religious group Buddhist


Alan Watts, cropped from Luminaries of Pantheism mural by Levi Ponce- Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Book/Journal Source(s)
Tweed, Thomas A. and Stephen Prothero (Eds.), 1999. Asian Religions in America. New York: Oxford University Press.
Web Source(s)
Alan Watts website (curated by son, Mark Watts)
Web Page Contributor
Sandi Dolbee
Affliated with: Former Religion and Ethics Editor, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Bookmark and Share