Carlton Fredericks, PhD (1910 – 1987), became famous, and in some circles infamous, for his pioneering use of the media to educate people about vitamin and nutrition therapy. On the radio for nearly half a century, his most famous thirty years began in 1957 at New York City station WOR. Fredericks’ call-in “Design for Living” program, broadcast six days a week and syndicated nationally, resulted in literally millions of letters to a man whom many considered to be “America’s Foremost Nutritionist.” KABC Los Angeles presented his program “Living Should Be Fun” saying that “Dr. Fredericks presents interviews with doctors and nutritionists (and) examines the fact or superstition in certain nutrition beliefs.” In one such 1978 interview, he interviewed orthomolecular niacinamide pioneer Dr. William Kaufman.
Dr. Fredericks, a colleague of Drs. Robert Atkins and Linus Pauling, was heavily criticized as a vitamin “promoter” and food “faddist”. Today, he might be seen more as an orthomolecular version of Paul Harvey. The New York Times described Fredericks’ voice as having “crisp diction and authoritative delivery.” Fredericks constantly made fun of junk foods, and brought his listeners many a memorable moment. He quipped that if you lack the time to learn what you ought to know about healthy eating, just follow the average grocery store shopper and purchase only what she doesn’t. When callers asked about white bread, he replied that it “makes a wonderful way of cleaning off your counter tops. You can dust your furniture with it.”
Dr. Fredericks appeared on the Merv Griffin Show, and was a columnist for Prevention and Let’s Live magazines. He wrote over twenty books, lectured widely, and was associate professor of public health at Fairleigh Dickinson University.