A TRIBUTE TO DOCTOR ROBERT C. ATKINS
On April 17, 2003, Dr. Robert C. Atkins, one of the pioneers of complementary medicine in the United States and one of the most famous, successful and enduring nutrition experts of the last 40 years, died in New York City at the age of 72.
Dr. Atkins was the founder of The Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine and Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. He also authored more than a dozen health and nutrition books, including Dr. Atkinsí New Diet Revolution, one of the 50 best-selling books of all time, and Atkins for Life. Released earlier this year, Atkins for Life quickly joined Dr. Atkinsí New Diet
Revolution on The New York Times bestseller list. The cause of death was related to head trauma from an accident that
occurred while Dr. Atkins was on his way to work.
The serious snowstorm that hit New York City the day before the incident, along with unseasonably cold temperatures, left streets and sidewalks slippery. As was his daily habit, Dr. Atkins walked from his home to his office, a distance of about one mile. At approximately 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 8, 2003, he fell and hit his head, suffering severe head trauma.
Keith Berkowitz, M.D., a colleague at The Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine, was arriving at work at the same time, and was able to rush Dr. Atkins to the hospital within minutes. The doctors at the hospital emergency room determined that Dr. Atkins had suffered a subdural hematoma and that surgery was required to remove the blood clot from his brain. He survived for several days but eventually succumbed to complications.
I want to share with you all, some of the things that our visitors have written about their feelings about
Dr. Atkins, and what he (and his work) meant to them. So many lives changed. So many saved. I'll start with my
How do you say thank you to a man that saved your life? How do you say goodbye?
A little over four years ago, I was in pretty bad shape. I weighed 144 pounds more than I do
today. I was sick; I was exhausted; I was in pain. Each day was a struggle to survive. And many
days, I was not sure I wanted to.
I'd been following doctors' advice for years. Taking all the meds they gave me; taking extras to
cover the symptoms brought on by those prescribed in the last round. And giving it my all to stay
on a low fat diet. Yet each day drained more of the life from me.
In a last ditch effort to save my own life, I searched for an answer outside what I'd been told.
Grasping for straws? Searching for a miracle? Yes, most likely. But I remembered my experiences
with Dr. Atkins' Revolution so many years ago. What did I have to lose?
I guess that was the whole point. I put all my faith and trust in one man's theories. Theories that had
struck a chord in me. And so it began... Following the path set out for me by Dr. Robert Atkins, I began to
see a light at the end of this dark and hopeless tunnel. The more I learned and put into practice, the
stronger I became.
The rest you know... I am no longer obese; no longer that frightened fat girl with no future. I no longer
need medications; and I no longer live in fear, pain, or loneliness. I am strong, healthy, happy, and
loved. And to deny that I owe a huge debt of gratitude to a man I never met, would be an arrogant lack
Dr. Atkins saved me, as he saved countless others. No words can ever express my utter thankfulness
for allowing me to live to see my life become so happy; so fulfilled; so rich with hope, opportunity,
Your legacy lives in each of us who remember you, Dr. A. And in each of our hearts that beat a little
stronger because you lived.
From Our Forum Moderators at Talking Low Carb:
Dr. Atkins gave me back my life at a time when I was shoving it away from me with both hands. I was obese and
getting bigger and had given up on myself. It was an odd combination of events that caused his book to fall into
my hands. Reading it changed me forever, not just my body, but all of me. I am healthy. I am strong. I am determined
never to go back to being unhealthy and addicted to carbohydrates. I have the tools that I need to be successful in
that determination... and Dr. Robert Atkins is the person who gave them to me.
His passing is very sad. But right now, more than a sense of grief... I feel so much admiration for a person who used
their life SO well. He used his education and experience to think differently from the prevailing wisdom. He never
watered down his ideas or backed away from them, even in the face of bitter criticism from his peers. Instead he
continued to write and he built a dieting empire that will continue to touch the lives of thousands of people,
long after he is gone.
His death is tragic, but his life is very much worth celebrating.
It's hard to put into words what Dr. Atkins means to me. Because of his program, I am now a healthy weight and
have a healthy body. I no longer suffer from physical ailments, nor the mental anguish I put myself through
because of my weight and increasing health problems.
His whole life was dedicated to making other's lives better. He personally knew what the stuggle to lose weight
and improve health can be like. He came across an amazing discovery... and happily shared it with the world. He
fought the opposition and continued on like the true pioneer that he was. He refused to follow the acceptable
ways of thinking...and to the money that lied behind it. Because of his perserverance, millions of people are
on their way to happier, healthier lives. In my eyes.. he is a true hero. A man of courage. His passing will be
felt as a deep loss by many..but we can conintue his legacy and celebrate his wonderful life everyday.He made a
difference... so can we. Thank you Dr. Atkins..for giving so much of yourself. For giving me back my life. May
your dear soul rest in peace.
Thank you Dr.Atkins! I have been on this plan for 8 months, and have lost 50 lbs. I just celebrated "breaking 200 lbs"
only days ago... for now I am 198, and less than 30 lbs from my goal weight. Dr.Atkins, you have done so much for so many people...
we are incredibly greatful. Even the ones who challenged you, did so, so that you could give them even more reason to believe how
wonderful your findings and theories were. You were right, Dr.Atkins... and the people who matter will never forget that. I will
never forget that.
More than losing these last 30lbs... I want to reach my goal, keep it off, and show the world that you were
right all along. I want to be a pinnacle of strength and a role model for your Nutritional Approach. I am proud to be a product of your research. Thank you for the honor!
And from some of our TLC Members:
When I heard Dr Atkins had passed away I truly felt as if I had lost a family member. He has inspired
me and opened my eyes to a life worth living. I was looking into bariatric surgery and my husband begged
me to try one last time to lose weight on my own, so I knew the only plan I could stick with was Atkins.
I am down 40 lbs and still more to go, my mother and husband have joined this way of life also with great
results. Dr. Atkins will live on through his work and will be dearly missed. He has proven this way of
life for me, when nothing else worked, and I will always be grateful.
Thank God for Dr. Atkins!!!
Dr. Atkins has given me things that no one else could:
HOPE — I thought I was destined to be overweight forever. I had tried a few diets, been hungry, and never succeeded in keeping it off, so I had given up hope. Now I know that I will not only lose it ALL but keep it off forever.
NEW BODY — I have not been this light in years and keep going down to what I should be. Now, I love looking in the mirror and enjoy shopping. Gave away some clothes that I know I will never need again. My HEALTH is improving all the time.
NEW SELF-ESTEEM — With my new hope and new body, I have a wonderful new self-esteem. My whole outlook on life is better. With my improved health I have a good chance of living much longer and with better quality.
Thank you, Dr. Atkins...
I was seriously considering surgery in order to loose weight. I just couldn't bring myself to do it though.
I had struggled and struggled trying to loose weight with just about every other diet there was out there.
I saw a show on Oprah about the Low carb diet and began to read everything I could about it. I was amazed at
how much sense it made to me. I'm a nurse and it made logical sense to me as to why this WOE works.
There are dozens of Low carb diets out there and they all work but, Dr. Atkins started it all. Without his bravery to break
through the mainstream and risk to be different who knows how long we'd all be struggling, or having surgery?
Being in the medical field I know how strong the "propaganda" is for the low-fat, calorie counting diets is.
Dr. Atkins is TRULY a pioneer. I cannot thank him enough for taking that stand and telling us all the truth!
God Bless You Dr. Atkins! I know heaven has a wonderful place waiting for you. You might now be able to understand
just how many lives you touched and saved.