Robert C. Atkins, M.D. (1930-2003), was one of the pioneers of complementary medicine in the United States and one of the most famous, influential and enduring nutrition experts of the last 40 years. Born and raised in Ohio, Dr. Atkins graduated from the University of Michigan in 1951. In 1955, he received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical School and went on to specialize in cardiology. He later founded The Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine in New York City where he was a practicing physician for more than forty years.
With the publication of his first book, Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution, in 1972, he became a household name. Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution went on to sell over 15 million copies and is one of the top 50 best-selling books of all time. He authored more than a dozen more books promoting his low carb lifestyle and nutritional medicine approaches.
Dr. Atkins was a cardiologist with an innovative perspective on nutrition and health. His controlled carbohydrate approach to weight management and the treatment and prevention of disease successfully challenged conventional medical and nutritional science. As a leader in the areas of natural medicine and nutritional pharmacology, he built an international reputation. He was the recipient of the World Organization of Alternative Medicine’s Recognition of Achievement Award and the National Health Federation’s Man of the Year.
He was a sought-after speaker and made numerous media appearances where he discussed nutrition and health. His work was also featured in many magazine and newspaper articles, and for several years he hosted a nationally syndicated radio show, “Your Health Choices.”
In 2003, Dr. Atkins and his wife, Veronica, established The Robert C. & Veronica Atkins Foundation funding it with an initial 40 million dollars. The Foundation funds independent, evidence-based research examining the role of metabolism and nutrition in obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other serious health concerns confronting our society today. One of the few grant-making organizations dedicated to research in this arena, it also supports educational programs, public health advocacy initiatives and endowed professorships.
Dr. Atkins died after sustaining severe head injuries in a fall in April, 2003.