Peter Caldwell was born on April 16, 1940 in Schenectady, New York. His family moved to Pasadena, California where he attended school and later Pomona College followed by the UCLA School of Medicine. He went on to become a pediatrician/pediatric cardiologist and served three years in the US Naval Reserve, the first year as a battalion surgeon with the Marines in Vietnam in 1966-1967.
He completed his military service in Hawaii where he returned to settle in Honolulu in 1973 along with his wife Olga. His family includes an adopted Tahitian son, their family with three children, and two sponsored Indonesian girls. He spent 30 years working for the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group and then retired from full-time medical practice spending his professional time volunteering at the Aloha Medical Mission and assisting with interviews for applicants to the University of Hawaii School of Medicine.
In 1991, he wrote his first book, Bac-si: A Doctor Remembers Vietnam, and started his own publishing company, Taote Publishing. A longtime hiker, paddler, backpacker and outdoor photographer, he published his second book, Adventurer’s Hawaiʻi, the following year, which focused on his photographic adventures in the Hawaiian Islands. With a family cabin at Echo Lake near Lake Tahoe, his third book, Echo Lake Reflections, told a photographic historical story of the family’s four generations in this unique Sierra setting. Joining forces with his brother Don, this book was followed by two photographic guidebooks to the nearby Desolation Wilderness Area. The much-expanded second edition of Adventurerʻs Hawaiʻi in hardcover format was released in December 2013.
In 2006, being a paddler and a participant, he completed a beautiful coffee table book, Molokaʻi-Oʻahu through the Years about Hawaii’s Molokaʻi-Oʻahu outrigger canoe race. A ten-year follow-up similar book Molokaʻi-Oʻahu Through the Years 2006-2016 was released in 2017. Most recently in December 2020, Up to Speed on Việt-Nam was published through Amazonʻs print on demand and eBook publishing service.
He spends his time not only on Oahu but also on the Big Island where his family built a second home close to Volcanoes National Park.