Benjamin McLane Spock, affectionately called Dr. Ben, is an American pediatrician whose book Baby and Child Care is one of the biggest best-sellers of all time. Its revolutionary message to mothers is that "you know more than you think you do." Dr. Spock was the first pediatrician to study psychoanalysis to try to understand children's needs and family dynamics. His ideas about childcare continue to influence parents to be more flexible and affectionate with their children, and to treat them as individuals, whereas the previous conventional wisdom had been that child rearing should focus on building discipline, and that, e.g., babies should not be "spoiled" by picking them up when they cried.

Dr. Ben embraced women's and girls' equality relatively early. Editions of Baby and Child Care were edited to refer to babies and children as "she" about half the time. This was a departure from the norm at that time. Especially among established authors, there was still a strong school of thought claiming that the pronoun "he" was correct for all persons unless speaking of a specific female or female matters. Spock's book was the first major/mainstream book to abandon that view and usage.

Dr. Spock attended medical school at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, where he graduated first in his class. He did residency training in pediatrics at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in Manhattan and then in psychiatry at Cornell's Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic.

Dr. Ben is an ardent sailor: he keeps one sailboat in the city and smaller boat the Caribbean.