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Dwight Eisenhower: The History of Bed Rest

From 1900 to 1940, doctors routinely put people to bed for at least two months after a heart attack. In the 1950s the first studies came out to show that men who were put to bed after a heart attack were more likely to die than those who were active. Doctors responded by shortening bed rest from two months to two weeks.

Tab Hunter, 1950s Heart Throb

Blond, blue-eyed Tab Hunter was so good-looking that he became a leading Hollywood movie star of the 1950s and 1960s. He was very athletic as a competitive figure skater in his youth and a lifelong accomplished horseman, so he was featured in roles such as the baseball player in the 1958 musical film Damn Yankees. He was also a popular singer whose 1957 hit record, "Young Love," sold more than a million copies and was number one on the Hit Parade for six weeks.

Kurt Masur, Conductor and Hero

The world lost one of its great orchestra conductors when Kurt Masur died this week at age 88. He helped to prevent a massacre in East Germany in 1989, and helped to sustain American spirits after the attack on New York's World Trade Center in 2001. On October 9, 1989, after the fifth successive Monday...

Denton Cooley, the Fastest Heart Surgeon

Heart surgeon Denton Cooley, who just died on November 18, 2017, was better than his peers in just about everything he did. He founded the Texas Heart Institute in 1972, where he and his team performed almost 120,000 open heart operations, 258,000 cardiac catheterizations and 270 heart transplants.

Hal Connolly, from Disabled Child to Olympic Gold

Harold Connolly was born with only one functioning arm. Because of that he had to fight to be accepted, so he worked harder than everyone else. He became such a fierce competitor in the hammer throw that he won a gold medal in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. He was the first...

Van Gogh’s Yellow Coronas

Vincent Van Gogh is one of the world's most renowned painters, but during his lifetime, he sold only one of his paintings, The Red Vineyard, even though he painted more than 900 canvases and penned more than 1100 drawings and sketches.

Babe Didrikson Zaharias, the Best Female Athlete

Babe Didrikson Zaharias was arguably the best female athlete of all time. She played many sports and was better than everyone else in most of them. She entered three events in track and field in the 1932 Olympics and won two and placed second in the third event, the high jump, only...

Marie Curie, Brilliant Heroine

Madame Marie Curie was one of the most brilliant and hard-working people who ever lived. She won two Nobel Prizes and helped her husband and daughter each win one. Her death certificate read that she died of pernicious anemia caused by radiation from her many experiments with radium and polonium, the two elements that she discovered.

Kim Kardashian’s Psoriasis

Kimberly Noel Kardashian, one of the most visible women in the United States today, suffers from psoriasis, a skin disease that causes raised red patches with silvery scales to form on her body. Three percent of North Americans or more than eight million people have this hereditary condition. Kardashian is a fashion...

Philip Roth and Heart Failure

The noted novelist Philip Roth has died at age 85 of heart failure, even though he had changed many of his lifestyle risk factors that caused him to suffer a heart attack at the very young age of 56, which required bypass surgery of all five arteries leading to his heart.

Gerhard Hansen and Leprosy

Diana and I just returned from a riverboat/cycling trip with almost 400 other bicyclists from Memphis to New Orleans. We visited the National Hansen's Disease (leprosy) Museum in Carville, Louisiana and learned about Dr. Gerhard Hansen, a Norwegian physician who discovered the bacteria that cause leprosy in 1873. This was the first bacterium to...

David Cassidy, Teen Idol

David Cassidy achieved early fame as Keith Partridge in the 1970s musical sitcom The Partridge Family, and by his early twenties he was a singer and guitarist, had the top selling single record of the year, multiple Grammy nominations, a Golden Apple Award and a fan club of teenagers that was larger than those of Elvis Presley and The Beatles combined.

Elvis Presley: Killed by Inflammation

Elvis Presley sold more records than anyone else in the history of recorded music. He was nominated for 14 Grammys and won three, and has been inducted into virtually every music hall of fame. He died at the tragically young age of 42. In the last years of his life,

Moses Malone and Darryl Dawkins, NBA Giants

In the past month, two former National Basketball Association giant centers died of heart attacks: Daryl Dawkins on August 27 at age 58 and Moses Malone on September 13 at age 60 . Both were 6' 10" tall, weighed more than 250 pounds, and went directly from high school into professional...

Patrick Henry’s Wife

The next time you go to Richmond, Virginia, visit the Patrick Henry House in nearby Hanover County and you will see a first-floor room with bars over the windows and steel locks on the doors. The guide will tell you that Patrick Henry’s wife was crazy, and that Patrick Henry did not want to...

Alma Mahler, Muse to Many

Alma Schindler Mahler is famous for marrying and having affairs with some of the most brilliant and accomplished men of the 20th century. She was a composer, sculptor and writer who wanted to be famous for her own intellectual creations, but she lived at a time when it was extremely difficult for women to be prominent in the arts. She took the next best approach by marrying and loving some of the leading musicians, composers, architects, painters and writers of the era.

Roger Moore’s Many Medical Problems

Roger Moore was an English film and television star who was most famous for having played secret agent James Bond in seven films from 1973 to 1985. In 1991, he was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for his work helping underprivileged children. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003.

Bess Myerson’s Highs and Lows

Bess Myerson won the 1945 Miss America contest because she was the most beautiful, most talented and at 5'10", the tallest entrant. She went on to become an adored television personality and then had a successful career in politics. However, this beautiful, brilliant and talented woman made terrible decisions in her personal life that eventually drove her from the limelight into scandal and obscurity.

Johnny Miles Was My Hero

“Unknown Kid Wins the Greatest of All Marathons” -- That was the Boston Post headline in 1926. The most unbelievable upset ever in a major marathon was pulled off by Johnny Miles, a 20 year-old who had never entered a marathon.

Horace Fletcher, the Great Masticator

Horace Fletcher was known as "The Great Masticator," who said "Nature will castigate those who don't masticate." More than 100 years ago, in 1913, his book Fletcherism tried to convince people to chew their food to a liquid pulp. He claimed that this would help to control weight and prevent diabetes.

Bob Marley and Melanoma

Bob Marley was a superstar Jamaican singer, guitarist and songwriter who sold more than 20 million records by bringing Jamaican music and the Rastafari movement to the world. He was the first major rock artist to come out of a Third World country. He mixed protest music with popular songs of rebellion and faith, and his "No Woman No Cry," "Could You Be Loved," "One Love," and many other songs are still very popular today.

Farrah Fawcett: The Price of Beauty

It may not be so good to be one of the most beautiful women in the world, a famous actress who was a four-time Emmy Award nominee and six-time Golden Globe Award nominee and who was ranked by TV Guide as "One of the 50 Greatest TV stars of All-Time". Beautiful, famous women often attract handsome promiscuous men who share their acquired and often incurable infections.

Otto Warburg, Cancer Pioneer

83 years after Otto Warburg published his landmark paper on cancer, the New York Times has a major article on the revival of his idea that cancer cells can be starved to death (NYT, May 12, 2016). Otto Warburg (1883 – 1970) was arguably the most brilliant and productive chemist of all time. Throughout his 50 years of research, he made major breakthroughs in intracellular respiration, photosynthesis and cancer.

Louisa Moritz: Death from “Natural Causes”

Louisa Moritz was a Cuban-American actress who played mostly dumb blonde roles in several films and TV situation comedies. She was best known for her role as Rose in the 1975 film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, with Jack Nicholson.

Charlotte Rae and Pancreatic Cancer

Charlotte Rae was a stage, television and film actress and singer who, at age 52, became widely known and loved as Mrs. Edna Garrett in the TV shows "Diff’rent Strokes" and its spinoff "The Facts of Life" (1978-1987). As Mrs. Garrett, she was the cheerful, wise and strong housemother at a prestigious boarding school, where she always made the right decisions in dealing with issues facing teenager girls: dating, depression, weight control, alcohol and drugs. However, in real life, she was an alcoholic who suffered greatly from her affliction.

Tom Magliozzi, Host of “Car Talk”

Tom Magliozzi died at age 77 on November 3, 2014 from complications of Alzheimer's disease. This horrible dementia prevents you from remembering almost anything. For 35 years he was the star of the nationally-syndicated radio show "Car Talk" with his brother Ray, hosting calls from would-be mechanics, puzzled car owners and entertained...

Kathleen Baker, Amazing Olympian with Crohn’s Disease

Kathleen Baker made the 2016 United States Olympic Swimming Team by finishing second in the women’s 100-meter backstroke at the United States trials. To be able to be in the Olympics, she had to have incredible drive and the ability to suffer pain from intense training day after day from early childhood. But there is far more than just the pain of training for this 19-year-old UC/Berkeley student.

Isabella Karle’s Nobel Prize Went to Her Husband

On October 3, 2017, Isabella Karle died of a brain tumor at age 95, four years after her husband, Nobel Prize winner Jerome Karle, died at age 94 of liver cancer. More than 70 years before their deaths, both were exposed to radiation when they worked in the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb during World War II.

George Jones – Sad Life, Sad Songs

George Jones lived and sang about sorrow and poverty, and became one of the greatest country music singers of all time, He recorded more than 900 songs and charted the most country hits, paying the price of spending a tremendous amount of time on the road,

Fuller Albright, Founder of Modern Endocrinology

Fuller Albright discovered more new diseases and their causes than any other person in the history of medicine. He was the founder of modern endocrinology, the study of how glands work in your body. In his time, many chairmen of the departments of endocrinology in North American medical schools were men who had studied...