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Gustav Born: Innovations after Hiroshima

Gustav Born was a physician and pharmacologist who taught the world about blood clotting. In 1945, he was posted as a British army doctor in Hiroshima, and noticed that most of the survivors of the atomic bomb suffered from chronic bleeding. He demonstrated that exposure to radiation destroys the body's platelets to cause the bleeding and laid the basics for treatment of bleeding and clotting disorders, some of which are still used today.

John von Neumann, Father of the Computer Revolution

John von Neumann was one of the most versatile and brilliant mathematicians of all time. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1955 and died a year later after it spread quickly to his bones and brain. He had helped to develop both atomic and hydrogen bombs and was exposed to radioactivity while observing A-bomb tests in the Pacific and while working on nuclear weapons at Los Alamos, New Mexico.

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.

Fred Kummerow, Hero of the Trans Fat Battle

Last week, 102-year-old Fred Kummerow died with arteriosclerosis, a disease that he has spent most of his life working to prevent. He was the first researcher to show that trans fats in margarines and many prepared foods cause plaques to form in arteries, with a paper published in Science in 1957.

John Harvey Kellogg, Right and Wrong

John Harvey Kellogg was a medical doctor and director of the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan, a hospital, spa and expensive hotel that helped to heal sick people primarily by getting them to eat a plant-based diet. To help people eat more plants, he and his brother, Will Keith Kellogg, invented "Corn Flakes" by putting whole grains though rollers and toasting them.

C.W. Post, Entrepreneur and Huckster

C.W. Post was a brilliant huckster who invented Grape Nuts and Postum. He founded Post Cereals, which eventually became General Foods, one of the largest processed food  companies in the world.

John Singleton: High Blood Pressure and Strokes

John Singleton was a film and TV director, screenwriter, and producer who, in 1991 at age 24, became the first African American and the youngest person ever to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, for his film Boyz n the Hood.

Toshiko D’Elia, Marathon Champion, Dies at 84

Toshiko D’Elia, who broke many age-group world marathon records for women over 50, died of brain cancer on February 19, 2014. She was the first woman over age 50 to run a marathon in under three hours, in 2:57:25 (August, 1980) and the first woman over age 65 to run under...

Joey Feek, the Love Story of 2016

Joey Martin Feek was born on September 7, 1975 in the small town of Alexandria, Indiana. In 1998 at age 23, she moved to Nashville to pursue her singing career and in 2000 she signed with Sony Records, but her records did not sell. In 2002, she met her future husband, guitarist Rory Feek who was 10 years older. After four months of a platonic relationship, they married and she gave wedding rings to both of his daughters, Hopie and Hedi Feek, as well as to him.

Peggy Lipton and Colon Cancer

Peggy Lipton was an American television star, actress, model, and singer who played one of three undercover cops on the popular ABC series, The Mod Squad, from 1968 to 1973. She was nominated for four Emmy Awards and four Golden Globe Awards, and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama in 1971.

The Sad Story of Karen Carpenter

Karen Carpenter and her brother Richard sang together to form "The Carpenters", one of the leading singing groups in the 1970s. When she died of heart failure at age 32, she made the world painfully aware of a disease called anorexia nervosa.

Itzhak Perlman and Polio

Itzhak Perlman is arguably the most brilliant and beloved violinist of the 20th century and so far in the 21st. He is also so knowledgeable and coordinated that he has conducted many major orchestras. This is incredible because both of his legs are paralyzed from an attack of polio contracted at age...

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...

Glenn Yarbrough – A Lifetime of Searching

Glenn Yarbrough was the lead singer with the Limeliters, one of the most popular folk singing groups of the early 1960s. From 1959 to 1963 the three singers, Glenn Yarbrough on the guitar, Alex Hassilev on the banjo and Lou Gottlieb on the bass, earned millions of dollars by being seen on virtually every television set in the U.S.,

Elie Wiesel, Messenger to Mankind

Elie Wiesel was a Romanian-American Jewish writer, professor and the author of more than 50 books. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to show the world its moral responsibility to fight hatred, racism and genocide.

Al Capone: Crime Does Not Pay

The king of Chicago prostitution lost both his mind and his life to diseases caused by a lifetime of promiscuous sex. He was probably America's most famous killer, gangster, bootlegger, criminal and racketeer, but the United States government could convict him only for tax evasion and he was sentenced to only 11 years in prison.

Tom Hanks, Diabetes and YoYo Dieting

Tom Hanks' films have grossed more than $4.2 billion in the United States and Canada, and more than $8.4 billion worldwide. He is the highest grossing actor of all-time with an average of $107 million per film. Seventeen of his films have grossed more than $100 million. Hanks has...

Glenn Frey: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ulcerative Colitis

Glenn Frey was the lead singer, songwriter and guitar, piano, and keyboard player in The Eagles, the great rock band that he had co-founded in 1971. In the 1980s the band broke up and he went on to sing on his own. In 1994, The Eagles got back together and were as famous as ever. At age 52, Frey developed two autoimmune diseases: rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis. In January 2016, at the too-young age of 67, Frey died with pneumonia and other complications of these autoimmune diseases.

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul

As one of the most versatile American singers of all time, Aretha Franklin was best known for singing soul music and popular and gospel songs, but with less than two hours’ notice, she was able to use her powerful mezzo-soprano voice to sing a great opera aria when she stepped in to replace Luciano Pavaroti at the 1998 Grammy Awards.

Jerry Lewis: Lifelong Comedy and Pain

Jerry Lewis, the fabulously successful comedian, actor and director who starred in movies, television, nightclubs and Broadway stage, died at age 91 at his home in Las Vegas. His manager said that he "passed peacefully at home of natural causes with his loving family at his side." Throughout his life he had suffered several serious medical conditions that were treated with medications and procedures that had many side effects.

Franco Columbu, Mr. Olympia

Franco Columbu was considered to be one of the strongest men in the world. He was a bodybuilder, powerlifter, actor, and author who won the Mr. Olympia contest twice and also Mr. Universe, Mr. World, Mr. International, Mr. Europe and Mr. Italy contests. He held several world powerlifting records, and his website states that he achieved a bench press of 525 pounds, a squat of 655 pounds, and dead lift of 750 pounds. These are incredible lifts for a man who was only 5'5" tall and weighed only 185 pounds.

Frank Sinatra, Voice of the 20th Century

Frank Sinatra was the most famous popular singer in the world from the 1940s on, with every performance accompanied by screaming and swooning teenagers. His countless friends included presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, members of Britain's royal family and Princess Grace of Monaco, as well as other famous entertainers: Dean...

Hemingway’s Suicide Caused by his Doctors

Early on the morning of July 2, 1961, sixty-one year old Ernest Hemingway, one of America's greatest writers and the winner of both the Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize, sat in the foyer of his home and shot himself in the head with a double-barreled shotgun. I believe that his suicide was caused by his doctors' complete failure to diagnose hemochromatosis, a hereditary disease that was so well known and so easy to treat that he could have had no suffering at all.

The Despicable Dr. Julius Reiter

One of the greatest tributes a physician can receive is to have a medical condition named after him. For example, I had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Mike Leventhal and remember how all the residents in training with me treated him with the greatest reverence because he was the Leventhal of Stein-Leventhal syndrome, also...

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...

Al Capp’s Li’l Abner

From 1934 to 1977, Al Capp wrote the most-read comic strip in North America, Li'l Abner, about hillbillies in the fictional town of Dogpatch, Kentucky. It had 60 million daily readers in more than 1000 newspapers in 28 countries. Li'l Abner Yokum, a stupid but good-natured hayseed, was the son of...

Gordie Howe, the Toughest Athlete Ever

Gordie Howe, arguably the best hockey player who ever lived, is now 85 years old and has severe short-term memory loss and difficulty speaking. His son, Marty, says he is always worse in the evening. Confusion in the evening is a common finding in people who suffer from dementia, but according to his son,...

Ilya Metchnikoff: Yogurt, Aging and Auto-Intoxication

This is the story of a world-famous scientist who noticed that the Hunzas of Kashmir and the Georgians in Eastern Europe lived to very old age, that they ate yogurt every day, and that yogurt is loaded with lactobacilli bacteria.

Simon Ramo Did Everything Right

On June, 27, 2016, aerospace pioneer Simon Ramo died at 103 years of age. His quality of life never deteriorated with old age. He played tennis regularly on his seven-acre estate in Beverly Hills.

Eugene O’Neill’s Guilt and Death

When you were in school, you may have read some of Eugene O’Neill’s more than 50 plays, such as Long Day's Journey into Night, Desire Under the Elms, or A Moon for the Misbegotten. He was the only American playwright to ever win the Nobel Prize for Literature.