MacFadden, Bernard

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MacFadden, Bernard Gender: M
born on 16 August 1868 at 08:00 (= 08:00 AM )
Place Mill Spring, USA, 37n04, 90w41
Timezone LMT m90w41 (is local mean time)
Data source
From memory
Rodden Rating A
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_leocol.18.gif 23°55' s_mo.18.gif s_leocol.18.gif 00°46 Asc.s_vircol.18.gif 26°06'


American physical culturist and newspaper publisher who lived to be an octogenarian and a total health fanatic. He preached his health gospel starting in his teens and until his death, opened studios and a chain of health food restaurants. He also published a five-volume encyclopedia of Physical Culture in 1911. He was married four times, and when he died in 1955, his once multi-million dollar fortune had dissipated, leaving his estate of no significant value.

McFadden’s father was a rowdy drunkard who died before Bernard was four, and Bernard’s lifelong intolerance of liquor may be traced to his father’s failing. His mother suffered from tuberculosis and died before he was nine, leaving him an ill and impoverished orphan.

He worked for his keep even before the age of eight, and was often undernourished. At one point, it appeared he might also succumb to his mother’s fate, but an introduction to healthful farm labor gave him new vitality, and began his lifelong interest in physical culture.

He worked many jobs, ranging from dental assistant to laundry proprietor to wrestler and circus acrobat. He did not have much in the way of formal education, but had an ambition to write. He published his first novel at his own expense, the theme being success out of adversity through health consciousness. He also published a five-volume encyclopedia of Physical Culture in 1911.

McFadden began a physical culture magazine as his first venture into publishing, and demonstrated his extreme but original regimens on a health farm. His remedy for all ailments was fasting. He received much public notice as a health authority - as well as a conviction for pornography in 1905 because of frank sexual talk and, for the time, insufficiently-clothed athletics. He had to leave the country in 1913 following financial troubles and scandals over an illegitimate child.

In England, he conducted a "Most Perfect Woman" contest, and married the winner, who was apparently his third wife. They had seven children together, and she managed to survive the regimens her husband dictated to her, including a hundred knee bends every morning, and diving six-months pregnant into the English Channel from a height of 60 feet. His wife came up with the idea of "True Story" magazine, which brought in more than a million dollars annually and was the flagship for other publications. The fortune was spent on unsound projects, however, including his White House ambition and motion picture productions that failed. By 1941, his disastrous experiences with newspaper publishing started reversals that caused all of his properties to be sold.

In 1948, he married for the fourth time until 1954, when his wife sued for separate maintenance. In 1955, he was jailed for non-payment of alimony and given a black eye by one of his sons for interfering in the son’s employment.

He died destitute from nutritional deficiency and a liver ailment on 10/12/1955.

Link to Wikipedia biography


Source Notes

Storme in AQ Fall/1953 states "authenticated."


  • Traits : Mind : Education limited (Little formal education)
  • Traits : Personality : Ambitious
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Liver/Pancreas/Spleen (Terminal)
  • Family : Childhood : Disadvantaged (Illness and poverty)
  • Family : Childhood : Family traumatic event (Age four when dad died, age nine when mom died)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Four)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Many job changes (Various careers)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Extreme ups and downs (Unsound investments)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Loss - Financial crisis (No estate value at his death)
  • Personal : Birth : Illegitimate birth
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (Age 86)
  • Vocation : Business : Entrepreneur (Writing, publishing, health clubs and food)
  • Vocation : Food and Beverage : Restaurateur
  • Vocation : Medical : Nutritionist
  • Vocation : Writers : Textbook/ Non-fiction