Jordan Peterson Biography feature img

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please visit our Disclaimer Page.

Introduction to Jordan Peterson’s Biography

Jordan Peterson is a major character in today’s intellectual scene. Peterson is well-known as a professor, psychologist, popular book, and public speaker because he questions conventional wisdom and approaches complex issues with commendable clarity. This article will analyze Peterson’s personal history, academic and professional achievements, and global effect. By delving into these questions, we can better understand Peterson’s meteoric rise to fame. Let’s go into the amazing life of Jordan Peterson.

Early Life

Jordan Bernt Peterson was born on June 12, 1962, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the oldest of three children born to Walter Peterson and Beverley and raised in Fairview, Alberta. His father was a teacher, and his mother was a librarian on the Fairview campus of Grampy Prairie Regional College.

His school librarian, Sandy Notley (mother of Canadian politician and New Democratic Party founder of Alberta, Rachel Notley), introduced Peterson to the literary works of Alain Rand and George Orwell.

In 1979, he graduated from Fairview High School and began attending Grande Prairie Regional College to study English Literature and Political Science. Throughout his teens, Peterson worked for the New Democratic Party (NDP) but later became disillusioned and left the party at age 18.

New Democratic Party NDP Logo
New Democratic Party (NDP) Logo

He left Grand Prairie Regional College midway through and transferred to the University of Alberta, where he earned his B.A. in Political Science in 1982. He then visited Europe and became interested in the psychological origins of the Cold War, particularly 20th-century European totalitarianism.

He eventually became troubled by humanity’s capacity for evil and destruction, which prompted him to immerse himself in the writings of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Carl Jung. He went back to the University of Alberta to complete his B.A. in psychology. He graduated in the field in 1984.

After relocating to Montreal in 1985, he attended McGill University, where he studied under Robert O. Pihl and eventually got a doctorate in clinical psychology. His thesis title was ‘Potential Psychological Markers for Alcohol Propensity.’


He then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at McGill’s Douglas Hospital with Pihl and Maurice Dongier until June 1993.

He conducted research and taught in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University as an assistant and associate professor from July 1993 to June 1998. He examined aggression resulting from substance abuse and ignored several unconventional thesis proposals. There he was nominated for the Levenson Teaching Prize in 1998.

He returned to Canada in July 1998, where he began working as a full professor at the University of Toronto, a position he still holds today.

Fields of his study and research include creative, political, religious, ideological, industrial and organizational, social, clinical, neuro, abnormal, and personality psychology and psychopharmacology. He has written and co-written over a hundred scholarly papers over the years.

22Maps of Meaning The Architecture of Belief22 book cover

Jordan’s first book was published in 1999, titled “Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief,” which took 13 years to complete. The book discusses how people construct meanings and beliefs using mythology, religion, philosophy and psychology.

He studied how individuals and groups deal with social conflict, and linking their behavior to their belief systems has led to analysis of atrocities such as the Rwandan genocide and the Holocaust camps. A 13-episode television series based on the book was later broadcast on TVOntario.

In 2005, he founded a non-profit organization with colleagues to produce a writing therapy program that included a series of online writing exercises. The company was called the Self-Writing Package and had a guided autobiography program called the Past Authoring Program, which was designed to help participants plan for their desired future and was used to help struggling undergraduates improve their grades.

According to an interview, more than 10,000 students have used the program.


The Canadian professor is an expert provocateur—sharp-tongued and confrontational; he seems almost frightened to mess with sensitive topics like the roles of biological fathers and gender-bending mutations.

Peterson, who has been called “the most influential publicly active intellectual in the Western world,” looked for something different in a self-help author, both in terms of the depth of ideas and the demographic he was writing for (young men who are dissatisfied with their lives and uncertain of the rules of the modern world).

Jordan Peterson and Russell Brunson
Jordan Peterson with Russell Brunson

Regarding interactions with people of the polar opposite sex, I know this phrase can still be employed without the need for instantaneous sentence validation via digital fire.

A philosophical pragmatist, Peterson presents himself politically as a classic British liberal. He called himself a Christian in a 2017 interview but did not identify as such as of 2018. Responding to his belief in God, he said, “I think the correct answer is No, but I fear that He may exist.”

Jordan Peterson’s opinion on sexual assault

In an interview with the National Post in March 2018, Jordan Peterson gave his opinion on the #metoo movement to columnist Christy Blatchford. In this interview, the Canadian psychologist explains sexual assault in the following way:

In the 1960s, with the appearance of the contraceptive pill, a new way of facing sex was established (…) There are unused returns, and the line between invitation and dinner is tenuous. When installing these new rules, it is normal to make mistakes in the area of sexual relations.

Jordan Peterson

As we can read, Peterson calls sexual errors “flaws” and says women have a lot of responsibility. Furthermore, in the same interview, he said, “men sexually invite women, and they are always rejected because it is normal to make mistakes with this type of invitation.”

Another of Peterson’s critiques of the new generations and social movements is cynicism, noting that any unwanted sexual act is harassing and refuting that law schools are called “post-modernists” because they care about the act. The importance of the result and not the intention.

That is, opportune to the fact that the consequences of a crime are important and the intention is not. For example: If a person sexually assaults another, Peterson focuses on the intention of the aggressor and not on the victim and the emotional consequences. This is very dangerous because, in many cases, most of the aggressors hide behind the fact that “you do not have the intention of abusing another person.”

Personal Life, Family and Disease

When Peterson’s wife Tammy received a terminal cancer diagnosis in April 2019, Peterson’s decline started.

The collapse of order and the advent of chaos—something Peterson has written and spoken about extensively—happened then.

In his best-selling book, “12 Rules for Life: Antidote to Chaos”, Peterson described the order as “charted territory”: the known and the expected in our lives. “Order,” for example, “is the stability of your marriage.”

“12 Rules for Life- An Antidote to Chaos” by Jordan Peterson

To complement this information, read the complete summary of this best-seller book by Jordan Peterson.

In fact, Jordan’s marriage to Tammy was a significant source of order and stability in his life. In the acknowledgment section of the book 12 Rules for Life: Antidote to Chaos, Peterson wrote that his wife, Tammy, “…has been an absolute pillar of honesty, stability, support, practical help, organization, and patience…”

But then, he was informed that that pillar would soon fall.

“Chaos,” Peterson wrote, “is the new place and time that emerge when tragedy strikes suddenly…”

“It is the new and unpredictable that suddenly appears in the midst of the commonly known.”

“It is the place where you end up when things fall apart…”.

And when things fall apart, it can send us into an emotional whirlpool. According to Peterson’s much earlier book, Meaningful Maps, “When the world remains familiar and familiar…our emotions come under control. When the world is suddenly transformed into something new, however, our emotions become dysregulated…».

Faced with such terrible news, Peterson’s anxiety skyrocketed. He had been taking prescription benzodiazepines for anxiety for a long time. His doctor upped the dosage after determining his wife’s diagnosis. But it simply appeared to increase his anxiousness. Peterson became aware of his dangerous physical dependence.

Tammy challenged her diagnosis, recovering soon after. But Jordan’s ordeal was beginning.

Jordan Peterson Family
Jordan Peterson Family

His doctor made him try to stop withdrawal by switching medications. But this caused his anxiety levels to skyrocket. He then tried to slow down, but that, too, was unbearable. Worst of all, he developed a condition called akathisia, which Peterson likened to being prodded non-stop with a cattle stick during all his awake hours. His illness made it painful to sit, lie down, or stand still; therefore, he was always on the move.

So Jordan began a long search, first in North America and finally in Eastern Europe, for medical help that would allow him to get off the drugs (benzos) and help him recover from the neurological damage he had suffered. 

At various times, Peterson suffered delusions, hallucinations, time distortion, and physical damage such that he could not climb the stairs or get into bed.

“It is not an exaggeration,” Peterson recounted, “to say that for me, the consequences of benzodiazepine withdrawal were worse than death.”

“You don’t mean to say something like that lightly, you know,” he continued, “but there were many times when it would have been preferable, as far as I could see, not to be there than to experience what I was experiencing.”

Jordan Peterson’s Youtube video when he returns from his treatment.

Peterson attributes his survival to the support of his family, which he described as “beyond the call of duty.” His daughter and son-in-law were mainly instrumental, taking the lead in seeking and obtaining medical treatment for him, even if their investigation led them to Russia in winter. “Yeah, well, I wasn’t going to give up,” Mikhaila replied after Jordan, choked with emotion, thanked her for her help.

This was incredibly moving, given that Peterson devoted an entire chapter of his book 12 Rules to telling the story of Mikhaila’s excruciating battle with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Social Networks

Jordan Peterson on YouTube

Peterson began uploading speeches to YouTube in 2013 to reach a larger audience, share their classrooms and give more voice to all their allegations and theories about today’s society. He first made headlines when he uploaded videos criticizing Bill C-16 and imposing restrictions on gender-based speech.

Jordan Peterson Youtube Channel
Jordan Peterson in 2023 on his Youtube Channel

His protests made him a hero for free talkers and a fanatic for trans and women’s activists. He became a worldwide sensation and advocate for free speech. After the publication of his book and his controversial interviews released in recent years, his channel on YouTube grew to more than half a thousand subscribers.

These data confirm that he is two of the most influential psychologists of the current century. Meanwhile, it is essential to note that her theories on hierarchy, politics, and criticism of feminism are accepted by a more conservative and less tolerant community. In fact, in the press in the United States, he was defined as the guru of masculinity. A label that was conquered because of his harsh statements about women and their behavior.


Jordan Peterson`s Books

  • 1999 – Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief
  • 2011 – The Self-Authoring Suite
  • 2014 – Personality and Its Transformations
  • 2018 – 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos
  • 2019 – The Jordan Peterson Diet: The 40-Day Mental Diet that Will Change Your Life
  • 2020 – The Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories
  • 2021 – Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life
  • 2021 – 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos – Illustrated Edition

F.A.Q. About Jordan Peterson

Who is Jordan Peterson?

Jordan Peterson is a Canadian psychologist, professor, and self-help author. He was a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto and is well known for his conservative views on cultural and political issues.

What are Jordan Peterson’s most significant contributions to psychology?

Peterson’s most significant contributions to psychology are his works on the psychology of religious and ideological beliefs and the assessment and improvement of personality and performance. He gained fame for his conservative views and his criticisms of political correctness.

What is Jordan Peterson’s most famous book?

Jordan Peterson’s most famous book is “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos,” published in 2018. The book provides life advice through essays on abstract ethical principles, psychology, religion, mythology, and personal anecdotes.

What are some controversies involving Jordan Peterson?

Peterson has been involved in several controversies due to his views and outspoken nature. The most notable was his opposition to the Canadian Bill C-16, which he believed would compel speech by mandating preferred gender pronouns. His stance sparked a significant debate about free speech and political correctness.

What is Jordan Peterson’s approach to self-help?

Peterson’s approach to self-help involves a mix of psychology, philosophy, and religious concepts. He encourages individuals to take personal responsibility for their actions, faces life’s inevitable hardships, and find meaning through order and structure. His rules are intended to serve as guiding principles to navigate life’s chaos.

Books about Jordan Peterson

There are also several books written by various authors about Dr. Jordan Peterson and his ideas and ideals. Some are critical and do not share his opinion; others are fervent supporters. Below we list some of them.

  • “In Defense of Jordan Peterson” by Dr. Gad Saad
  • “The Jordan Peterson Phenomenon” by Dr. Bradley Campbell
  • “The Jordan Peterson Controversies.” edited by Dr. Michael A. Peterson
  • “Jordan Peterson’s Impact on Contemporary Thought. edited by Dr. Nicholas R. Eaton
  • “The Jordan Peterson Debate: The Psychological, Political and Religious Implications of His Ideas.” edited by Dr. John D. Mayer and Dr. Peter J. Harms
  • “Jordan Peterson: The Rise of an Intellectual Phenomenon” by Michael A. Peterson
  • “Jordan Peterson: A Critical Introduction” by Dr. Aleksandar Štulhofer
  • “Jordan Peterson: A Clinical Psychological Perspective” by Dr. John D. Mayer and Dr. Peter J. Harms
  • “Jordan Peterson and the Pursuit of Happiness: An Introduction to His Thought” by Dr. Nicholas R. Eaton
  • “Jordan Peterson: Free Speech and the Search for Meaning” by Dr. Stephen Hicks
  • “Jordan Peterson: A Guide to His Ideas” by Dr. Nicholas R. Eaton
  • “Beyond Order: How Chaos Can Save Your Life and Make You a Better Person” by Dr. Jordan B. Peterson

Jordan Peterson Quotes

“If you remain silent when something bad happens before your eyes, the evil will become part of yourself.”

“Perhaps our best possible plan is to follow what conscience dictates to us. Otherwise, at the very least, we have to live with the feeling that we have betrayed ourselves, knowing that we are putting up with what we are not able to tolerate.”

“Let us have some humility. Let’s clean up the room. We take care of the family. Let’s follow conscience. Let’s straighten out life. Find something productive and interesting to do and commit to it. When we’ve managed to do all that, then let’s look for a bigger problem to solve, if we dare. If this also works, let’s move on to even more ambitious projects. And for this process, the necessary beginning is one: forget the ideology.”

“Don’t pretend you’re happy with something you’re not happy with – and if, in principle, it’s possible to negotiate a reasonable solution, have the damn discussion. As unpleasant as it is at the moment, it’s one less drop that fill the glass with water.”

”If you present yourself as defeated, people will react to you as if you were a loser. If you start aligning, they will look and treat you differently.”

“Taking care of yourself the way you would take care of someone under your responsibility means considering what would be really good for you. It’s not ‘what you want’. Nor is it ‘what would make you happy.”

“If you have a friend whose friendship you would not recommend to your sister, your father or son, why would you have such friendship for yourself?”

“One man’s decision to change his life, instead of cursing fate, shook the entire pathological system of communist tyranny to its core.”

“If you can’t bring peace to your home, how dare you try to rule a city?”

“If it works for the ennoblement of the Being, for the establishment of Paradise, then it is Christ. If it works for the destruction of Being, for the generation and propagation of unnecessary pain and suffering, then it is Satan. This is the inescapable archetypal reality.”

“Do your job. Carry your burden. Be smart and pay attention. Don’t grumble or be touchy. Defend your friends. Do not flatter or surrender to anyone. Don’t be a slave to stupid rules. In the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger: ‘Don’t be a sissy.”

“To hate life, to despise it – even because of the genuine pain it inflicts – only serves to make life itself worse, unbearably worse.”

Similar Posts