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Bernarr Macfadden
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    (August 16, 1868-October 12, 1955)
    Born in Mill Spring, Missouri
    Birth name was Bernard McFadden
    Bodybuilder/Health advocate/Magazine publisher
    Founded Macfadden Publications (1898)
    Published the magazines 'Physical Culture,' 'Photoplay,' 'Sport,' 'Liberty,' 'True Detective,' 'True Story,' 'True Romances,' 'Ghost Stories' and the newspaper 'The New York Graphic'
    Wrote over 100 books including 'Macfadden's Encyclopedia of Physical Culture' (1912), 'Fasting for Health' (1923) and 'Be Married and Like It' (1937)
    He changed his first name to Bernarr because he thought it sounded like the roar of a lion.
    He was married four times, divorced three times.
    His adopted daughter Helen was widely rumored to be his out-of-wedlock daughter from an affair with one of his employees.
    He used his kids as guinea pigs to test his health theories.
    He considered vaccines a main cause of poor health.
    He tried to take on the Kellogg Brothers and C.W. Post by opening a cereal factory in Battle Creek, Michigan (1907); his cereal, 'Strengthfude,' was a flop.
    He ran unsuccessfully for the US Senate and mayor of New York City.
    He tried to found his own religion, 'cosmotarianism,' based on the Bible and physical culture.
    He was forced to relinquish day-to-day control of his publishing empire after being sued by stockholders for using company funds to promote his pet projects (1941).
    He boasted he would live to 120, but fell 33 years short of the goal, dying from a urinary tract infection that he refused medical attention for and instead treated himself by fasting.
    He was orphaned when he was eleven.
    As a child, he almost died as a result of an ineptly administered vaccine.
    Much of his fitness advice -- advocating fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and emphasizing the importance of exercise -- was sound.
    He would usually walk the 20 miles from his suburban house to his Manhattan office.
    He was the first publisher to extensively use photos in magazines.
    He discovered bodybuilder Charles Atlas and columnists Walter Winchell and Ed Sullivan.
    He was a founding member of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club (1903).
    Unlike most of the doctors of his day, he felt sex should not be limited to procreation.
    He earned his pilot's license when he was 62.
    He took up skydiving in his 80s.

Credit: C. Fishel

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