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 John Harvey Kellogg

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John Harvey Kellogg

  • Birth 26 Feb 1852 Tyrone Township, Livingston County, Michigan, USA
  • Death 14 Dec 1943 Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan, USA
  • Burial Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan, USA
  • Plot Section A, Lot 1, Rt 5
  • Memorial ID 569

Medical Pioneer. He coined the term "sanitarium" and developed many theories about how to live a long and healthier life. Born in Tyrone, Michigan, he was the son of John Preston Kellogg and Ann Janette Stanley Kellogg. Just before 1860, the family moved to Battle Creek, Michigan, where his father, John Preston Kellogg, established a broom factory. John Harvey attended local schools and then attended Michigan State Normal School (now Eastern Michigan University) and later, New York University Medical College, graduating as a doctor in 1875. He married Ella Ervilla Eaton on February 22, 1879. Although they would have no children of their own, the two raised more than forty children, legally adopting seven of them. Kellogg was a Seventh Day Adventist and became the chief medical officer of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, which was owned and operated by the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The Sanitarium was based upon the church's health beliefs, which included abstinence from alcohol and tobacco, and a regimen of exercise. Kellogg's own personal beliefs include vegetarianism, the consumption of nuts (which he believed could replace the world's declining food supply), and reduced sexual activity (Kellogg and his wife preferred abstinence). A skilled surgeon, he often donated his surgical skills to indigent patients, although he generally was against surgery as a treatment for disease. Among his many famous patients were President William Howard Taft, explorers Roald Amundsen and Lowell Thomas, aviator Amelia Earheart, and playwright George Bernard Shaw. Many of Kellogg's teachings in the Sanitarium were counter to the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and after many warnings, in 1907 the church dropped him from membership, although he retained control over the Sanitarium. About 1897, John and his brother, Will Keith Kellogg, began to produce breakfast cereal, forming the Sanitas Food Company. Nine years later, they split over the decision to add sugar to the cereal (John was against it) and Will began his own company, which would become the W. K. Kellogg Company. John then changed the direction of the Sanitas Food Company from producing breakfast cereals to marketing soy products. One of John's patients, Charles Post, became interested in the cereal business from watching the two Kellogg brothers, and started his own cereal company, Post Cereals. When the Great Depression of the 1930s took effect, John was forced to close the Sanitarium in Battle Creek, but started up a smaller clinic in Florida, which ran successfully. Kellogg would write a number of books over his lifetime, explaining his theories on a healthy lifestyle, but it was his first book, "Plain Facts for Old and Young" (1877) which was the best seller of the more than 14 books that he wrote on various aspects of improving ones' health. Many of his theories are now repudiated, including most of his views on sexual abstinence, sexual dysfunction, the use of enemas to improve health, and racial eugenics. However, he was considered a pioneer on such subjects as the dangers of tobacco, eating healthy, and the use of massage. Kellogg's medical beliefs and story were the subject of which the movie "The Road to Wellville" (1994) was loosely based.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 569
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Harvey Kellogg (26 Feb 1852–14 Dec 1943), Find A Grave Memorial no. 569, citing Oak Hill Cemetery, Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .