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Subject: ARCHIVE: September 20, 1990 ~Robert David Rodale, noted advocate of organic farming, regenerative agriculture, and gardening, and publisher of Rodale Press focusing on health and wellness lifestyle magazines and books, is killed at 70, in auto accident in Russia ...

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Date Posted: Friday, September 20, 04:05:18am

Robert David "Bob" Rodale
(March 27, 1930 September 20, 1990)

American adherent of organic farming, regenerative agriculture, and gardening and a publisher focused
on health and wellness lifestyle magazines and books. Rodale was the founder of the Lehigh Valley Velodrome.

Early life and education
Rodale was born in Manhattan in 1930 to Jerome Irving (J.I.) Rodale and Anna Andrews Rodale. The family moved to Emmaus, Pennsylvania, shortly after Robert's birth when J.I. and his brother Joseph established an electrical manufacturing company there. He had two sisters, Nina and Ruth.

Robert learned the basics of farming and gardening while growing up on the family farm in Emmaus. He attended Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, from 19471951, studying English and journalism. In the 1970s, Robert Rodale played a major role in getting the state government's attention through his Cornucopia Project, which stimulated the publication of state-level analyses of how readily local demand could be met by local supply. At a time of increasing energy prices, a new emphasis on eating local became his platform for a more sustainable way of engaging with his community.

Personal life
Rodale met his wife, Ardath Harter, at a square dance party held at her family home. His father "suggested" her as a wife for Robert after dancing with her himself. Robert and Ardath married in June 1951 after a short courtship. The couple had five children, several of whom are involved in the family-run Rodale Press and Rodale Institute.

Rodale competed in the 1968 Olympics in skeet shooting and was inducted into the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame in 1991.

Robert joined his father at the Rodale Press in 1951 as an editor.

...His first assignment was to read the galley proofs for The Organic Farmer, a precursor to Organic Gardening and New Farm magazines. He worked alongside his father as president of Rodale Press until his father's untimely death in 1971 during a television interview with Dick Cavett. Robert was the US representative at the founding of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) (now IFOAM-Organics International), at Versailles, France in 1972. He continued his work with the family publishing firm and non-profit agricultural research organization. That work included editing the high-circulation Prevention. He was the chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Rodale Press at the time of his death by car accident in Russia in 1990.

On September 20, 1990, Rodale was killed in an auto accident in Moscow, while in the Soviet Union to establish a Russian-language edition of The New Farmer, one of several publications of Rodale Press devoted to an approach in farming that reduces reliance on chemicals. His widow, Ardath, died in 2009 at 81. Rodale is buried at Northwood Cemetery in Emmaus, Lehigh County, PA., with his father J.I. Rodale, founder of Rodale Press and one of the world's foremost advocates of organic farming and natural food.


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Subject Author Date
It was his father J.I. Rodale, founder of Rodale Press Publications who while appearing on TV's "Dick Cavett Show" in 1971, espousing the virtues of organic living declaring, "I'm so healthy that I expect to live on and on...I never felt better in my life!...I've decided to live to be a hundred", suddenly and quietly closed his eyes, and died. ...He infamously became the FIRST person to die onstage from natural causes during the taping of a television show (which never aired).Friday, September 20, 04:26:55am

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