Born in Britain in 1890, Grantly Dick-Read studied at Cambridge and at the London Hospital. He soon realised that there was something inherently wrong with the traditional methods of delivering babies, with their emphasis on intervention and the extensive use of anesthetics.
The publication of Childbirth without Fear caused widespread controversy, but, encouraged by many women who had given birth using the 'Dick-Read method', Grantly Dick-Read dedicated his life to promoting natural childbirth.
His writings inspired advocators of natural childbirth such as Janet Balaskas, Yehudi Gordon, Michel Odent and Sheila Kitzinger, and seem even more relevant today than when they were first published.
In 1948 he moved to South Africa, where he continued practising and teaching. In 1954 he conducted an extensive tour investigating childbirth practices of African tribes, which he described in his book No Time for Fear.
Grantly Dick-Read died back home in England in 1959.