As a member of the victorious United States rowing team in 1956, Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. was awarded a gold medal at the Olympic Games. He received his B.A. from Yale University, his M.D. from Western Reserve University, and was trained as a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and at St. George’s Hospital in London. Dr. Esselstyn was awarded the Bronze Star in 1968 for his work as an Army surgeon in Vietnam.
In 1991, Dr. Esselstyn served as President of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons and organized the first National Conference on the Elimination of Coronary Artery Disease. He subsequently became the first recipient of the Benjamin Spock Award for Compassion in Medicine. In 1995 he published his benchmark long-term nutritional research arresting and reversing coronary artery disease in severely ill patients.
Dr. Esselstyn and his wife, Ann Crile Esselstyn, have followed a plant-based diet for more than 26 years. Dr. Esselstyn presently directs the cardiovascular prevention and reversal program at The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.