Al Siebert

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Lawrence Albert Siebert
Al Siebert - photo.jpg
Born (1934-01-21)January 21, 1934
Portland, Oregon
Died June 25, 2009(2009-06-25) (aged 75)
Portland, Oregon
Other names Al Siebert
Alma mater University of Michigan
Occupation Writer, researcher, teacher

Lawrence Albert "Al" Siebert, (January 21, 1934 - June 25, 2009) was an American author and educator. A native of Oregon, he was best known for his research on psychological resilience and the inner nature of highly resilient survivors. He taught at Portland State University in Portland for more than 40 years.

Early life[edit]

Lawrence Albert Siebert was born in Portland, Oregon, to Donald and Mildred Siebert on January 21, 1934.[1] Raised in Portland, he graduated from Grant High School in Northeast Portland before attending Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.[1] There he graduated from the school with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology.[1] Siebert earned his master's and PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan.


He was an ex-army paratrooper, joining for a short time at the end of the Korean War. As adjunct professor, he taught management psychology seminars for over forty years at Portland State University. He was the author of several books on resiliency and survivor traits. Siebert was awarded a prestigious post-doctoral fellowship by the Menninger Institute. When he moved to Topeka to start his fellowship, he told his supervisors about his extraordinary breakthrough with understanding schizophrenia by having a "peak life" experience himself.[2] The Menninger psychiatrists immediately declared him severely mentally ill, canceled his fellowship, and had him locked up in the back ward of a V.A. psychiatric hospital diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. A month later he "eloped" from the V.A. hospital and returned to his home in Oregon to begin a very successful 35-year career as a teacher, author, and community leader

Siebert was a guest on radio and television interviews and call-in shows such as NPR, CNN, Oprah, and NBC's Today Show, and was featured in magazine articles in USA Today Weekend, Family Circle, Men's Fitness, Prevention Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Harvard Business Review, and Dr. Andrew Weil's Self-Healing Newsletter,. His "How Resilient Are You?" quiz has been reprinted in many publications.

He was frequently quoted in newspapers articles and other mass media as an expert on issues of workspace stress and resilience.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

Later life and death[edit]

Siebert lived in Portland with his wife Molly and spoke to business, government and military leaders on developing resiliency skills. Siebert died on June 25, 2009, in Portland at the age of 75 from colon cancer.[1]


  • The Resiliency Advantage: Master Change, Thrive Under Pressure, and Bounce Back From Setbacks (ISBN 978-1-57675-329-3), released in June 2005, won the 2006 Independent Publisher Book Award for Best Independent Self-Help book. Also published in Spanish, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese language editions.
  • The Survivor Personality: Why Some People Are Stronger, Smarter, and More Skillful at Handling Life's Difficulties...and How You Can Be, Too (ISBN 978-039953592-5) fifteenth printing. Also published in German, Dutch, Russian, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and United Kingdom editions.
  • Co-author of The Adult Student's Guide to Survival and Success, 6th Edition (ISBN 978-0-944227-38-1) with Mary Karr, MS. A 'survival' guide to college for first-time or returning non-traditional adult students (over age 24).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Obituaries: Siebert, Lawrence Albert". The Oregonian. July 5, 2009. 
  2. ^ [1],, April 14, 2012,
  3. ^ Worst ways to get fired,, CNN, September 6, 2006
  4. ^ After catastrophe, lessons from lives rebuilt, Christian Science Monitor, September 14, 2005
  5. ^ Change leads to growth, good job skills, Seattle Times, July 31, 2005
  6. ^ Unfairness of life can embitter you if you let it, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  7. ^ Tag you're fired: Big businesses behaving badly, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 08, 2006
  8. ^ Resilience can ease your stress, The Joplin Globe, July 07, 2006
  9. ^ Schooled in Life, Adults Return to College, by Yvonne J. Medley, Washington Post, October 12, 2003
  10. ^ Laid Off? Call Dr. FeelBad , by Jenn Shreve, Wired News,, February 12, 2001

External links[edit]