Magazine Publisher. Bernarr Macfadden was born Bernard Adolphus McFadden, and reputedly changed his names to give a greater appearance of strength. As a young child, he was weak and sickly, then he began working on a farm, which turned him into a strong and fit boy. Later he moved to St. Louis, Missouri and took a desk job, and his health declined again. He started exercising, became a vegetarian, and regained his health. These early experiences shaped his ideas on how to live a healthy life. He founded Physical Culture magazine in 1899 and was editor for 13 years. He published many magazines, mostly tabloids, fiction, and sports titles, and wrote articles and books supporting his views on health and diet. He popularized the practice of fasting using photographs of himself after fasts to demonstrate positive effects on the body. He also promoted fasting by appealing to racial prejudices, suggesting that fasting was a practice that only civilized white men would choose to embrace. He established many facilities which featured programs such as "The Physical Culture Training School". Although he gained his reputation for physical culture and fitness, he gained much notoriety for his views on sexual behavior as a healthy activity and not solely a procreative one. His Macfadden Foundation established boarding schools for young boys and girls; the boys wore uniforms and were subject to military type discipline. At the peak of his career, he owned several hotels and a major building in Dansville, New York. He also opened a restaurant in New York City in 1902 called Physical Culture, one of the city's first vegetarian venues. Physical Culture vegetarian restaurants were established in other cities, and by 1911, there were twenty.
Bio by: Pete Mohney