IN MEMORY OF…ROBERT J. YOUNG, 1928-2009
LIBRARY OBJECT(S) OF THE WEEK
To commemorate the recent passing of Robert J. Young, (a long-time supporter of the museum and research center), this week’s featured items come from the physical culture collection he most generously donated to our library. Born in Enid, Oklahoma, Mr. Young served his country during the Korean War and remained a reserve officer until retiring at the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1988. Mr. Young earned a Master’s degree in biology from the University of Oklahoma and worked for thirty-two years for the U.S. government, joining the Environmental Protection Agency when that branch was created in 1971. After retiring from public service, Mr. Young moved first to Virginia Beach, Virginia and then down to Deland, Florida.
Robert J. Young was a life-long advocate of healthy living through sunbathing, attention to physical fitness and exercise, proper diet and nutrition, and abstinence from smoking. He was also a great admirer and collector of the publications of Bernarr Macfadden, a pioneer of the American physical culture movement, a body-builder, and a self-made millionaire. Macfadden used his publishing empire to distribute popular magazines and books that championed his crusade against Victorian prudery, exposed early twentieth-century medical establishment quackery, and advocated better living through physical fitness. Mr. Young’s desire to see his physical culture collection preserved and made accessible to scholars and the general public inspired him to donate these materials to our rare books and special collections library. Mr. Young’s lively spirit and generosity will be deeply missed.