Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: H MS c499

Fredrick J. Stare papers

Overview

The Fredrick J. Stare papers, 1912-2002 (inclusive), 1950-1999 (bulk), are the product of Fredrick J. Stare’s professional, research, publishing, travel, and personal activities throughout the course of his career. The papers are arranged in nine series: I. Subject Files, 1912-2002; II. Correspondence Files, 1941-1999; III. Writings and Publications, 1934-1999; IV. Harvard University Administrative Records, 1942-2000; V. Travel Files, 1944-1994; VI. Personal Files, 1945-1999; VII. Audio, Audiovisual, and Film Recordings, 1972-1988; VIII. Photographs, 1936-1992; and IX. Collected Publications, 1939-1999.

Dates

  • 1912-2002 (inclusive)
  • Majority of material found within 1950-1999

Creator

Language of Materials

Papers are predominantly in English. Some papers are in French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Thai.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Some restrictions apply (see below).

Access requires advance notice. Contact Public Services for further information.

Access to Harvard University records is restricted for 50 years from the date of creation. These restrictions are noted where they appear in Series I, II, and IV. Access to patient, health, personnel, student, and personal information is restricted for 80 years from the date of creation. These restrictions appear in Series I, II, IV, V, VI, and VIII. Researchers may apply for access to restricted records. Consult Public Services for further information.

Access to digital files in this collection (as found in Series II) is also subject to the above restrictions. Additionally, access is premised on the availability of a computer station, requisite software, and/or the ability of Public Services staff to review and/or print out records of interest in advance of an on-site visit.

Audio and audio-visual recordings are restricted to access until such time as they can be converted to digital media. Recordings may also be subject to the above restrictions; once converted, recordings will be restricted based on the recording's title, or as per the restrictions for the folder from which the recording was removed.

Conditions Governing Use

The Harvard Medical Library does not hold copyright on all materials in the collection. Researchers are responsible for identifying and contacting any third-party copyright holders for permission to reproduce or publish. For more information on the Center's use, publication, and reproduction policies, view our Reproductions and Use Policy.

Extent

27.82 cubic feet (28 records center cartons, 3 half letter size document boxes, 1 legal size document box, 1 half legal size document box, and 5 flat oversized boxes)
0.01 Gigabytes (88 digital files)
The Fredrick J. Stare papers, 1912-2002 (inclusive), 1950-1999 (bulk), are the product of Fredrick J. Stare’s professional, research, publishing, travel, and personal activities throughout the course of his career. The papers are arranged in nine series: I. Subject Files, 1912-2002; II. Correspondence Files, 1941-1999; III. Writings and Publications, 1934-1999; IV. Harvard University Administrative Records, 1942-2000; V. Travel Files, 1944-1994; VI. Personal Files, 1945-1999; VII. Audio, Audiovisual, and Film Recordings, 1972-1988; VIII. Photographs, 1936-1992; and IX. Collected Publications, 1939-1999.

Subject Files and personal and professional correspondence together constitute the bulk of the collection. Subject files (Series I) consist of: administrative and fundraising records generated during Stare’s professional appointments at Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School; administrative, fundraising, publishing, and communications records generated through his service in professional organizations; records of various research projects, including the Ireland-Boston Heart Study, wheat fortification studies, and boarding school nutrition and cardiovascular health studies; and manuscript drafts and publishing correspondence for scientific and popular publications related to nutrition and public health. Professional and personal correspondence (Series II) includes: administrative and fundraising correspondence for the Harvard School of Public Health Department of Nutrition, the American Council on Science and Health, and the New England Conservatory; correspondence with corporations and food industry colleagues concerning nutrition consulting, research funding, and fundraising requests; publishing correspondence; research administrative correspondence; professional service and public speaking correspondence; and personal correspondence with family and friends. Writings and publications (Series III) include reprints and clippings of Stare’s scientific and popular publications related to nutrition and public health, the bulk of which were published between 1977 and 1999. Harvard University administrative records (Series IV) consist primarily of Harvard School of Public Health Department of Nutrition records, including reports, financial and fundraising records, committee records, meeting records, hiring records, manuscript drafts, and administrative correspondence. Series IV also includes occasional fundraising and event planning records generated through Stare’s committee work for Harvard Medical School and the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. Photographs and negatives (Series VIII) primarily include images of departmental activities and laboratories in the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition, Department of Nutrition events and receptions, and Stare’s post-World War II malnutrition work in Europe with survivors of the Holocaust and possibly the Dutch Famine. Series VIII also includes photographs of Stare, colleagues, and family members taken for various events.

Also included in the collection are: journals, itineraries, and receipts generated through Stare’s travel for work, research, conferences, and vacations (Series V); annual appointment calendars kept by Stare between 1945 and 1999 (Series VI); versions of Stare’s curriculum vitae and bibliography (Series VI); educational audiovisual recordings on nutrition, published and produced by various businesses, food industry interest groups, and professional organizations (Series VII); and collected publications and grey literature related to various topics in nutrition (Series IX). Frequent topics reflected in the collection include: nutrition education; nutrition labeling and consumer information; nutrition misinformation and quackery; fad diets; food groups and balanced nutrition; various food components, including fat, sugar, and protein; food irradiation; food additives and fortification; pesticides and organic foods; vitamins; "health" foods and nutraceuticals; weight and weight loss; nutrition-related disease and illness; and fluoridation.

Papers are predominantly in English. Some papers are in French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Thai.

Biographical Note

Fredrick J. Stare (1910-2002), B.S., M.S., and Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, M.D., University of Chicago, Illinois, was Distinguished Professor of Nutrition Emeritus and Founder and Chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts. His research focused on the relationship between diet and disease, and promoted a low-fat diet for minimizing the risk of cardiovascular disease. He is known for his nutrition recommendations in the popular media, and spent his career fighting what he considered nutrition quackery and misinformation.

Fredrick J. Stare was born in Columbus, Wisconsin in 1910, to Fredrick A. Stare (1877-1966), President and C.E.O. of the Columbus Canning Company, and Susan Seidell Stare. He received his B.S. (1931), M.S. (1932), and Ph.D. (1934) in Biochemistry and Nutrition from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He held several postdoctoral research fellowships in biochemistry prior to enrolling in medical school at the University of Chicago, Illinois, receiving his M.D. in 1941. He completed his medical internship at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri (1941-1942). In 1942, he was invited by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) to found the Department of Nutrition, the first nutrition program in the world connected with a school of public health or medicine. He served as Chair of the department through 1976, and his appointments within the department included: Assistant Professor of Nutrition (1942-1944); Associate Professor of Nutrition (1944-1945); Professor of Nutrition (1945-1980); Professor of Nutrition Emeritus (1980-1993); and Distinguished Professor of Nutrition Emeritus (1993-2002). He fundraised heavily as Chair of the department, soliciting donations from many food industry corporations and interest groups. While at HSPH (and into his retirement), he also fundraised and served on committees for the Capital Campaign and Annual Funds, and the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.

Fredrick J. Stare’s research focused on diet’s relationship to health and disease, particularly cardiovascular health, obesity, and cancer. His major studies included: the 1960s Ireland-Boston Brothers Heart Study, which studied how environmental, lifestyle, and diet factors contribute to heart disease; lysine fortification studies in Tunisia and Thailand in the 1960s and 1970s; and several 1970s studies on diet and cardiovascular health in boarding schools, which resulted in mass-market availability of polyunsaturated margarine. His frequent research collaborators included David M. Hegsted (1914-2009), Bernard Lown (born 1921), and Elizabeth M. Whelan (1943-2014), among many others. Stare advocated throughout his career for a low fat diet as a way to minimize risk for cardiovascular disease, and used his industry connections to push for low-fat and multigrain ingredients in manufactured foods. He opposed fad diets, and fought against what he considered nutrition quackery or misinformation. To these ends, he used his nationally-syndicated newspaper column, “Food and Your Health,” and radio program, “Healthline,” to provide research-based nutrition advice to the general public. With Elizabeth M. Whelan, he was also a co-founder of the American Council on Science and Health, which was founded to research and distribute evidence-based health and nutrition information to the wider population.

Stare served as Editor of Nutrition Reviews (1942-1967), and was an active member of the American Institute of Nutrition, the American Society of Clinical Nutrition; and the Group of European Nutritionists, among many other organizations. He fundraised for and served on the boards of the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), Pathfinder International, and the New England Conservatory of Music. He also served on the boards of many food-industry corporations and nutrition-related foundations and government agencies. During World War II (1944-1945), he consulted for the American Red Cross and the Surgeon General of the United States Army, through which he helped develop army field rations, advised U.S. citizens on nutrition during rationing, consulted on post-war food access and distribution in Europe, and spent three months in Europe working with survivors of the Holocaust and possibly the Dutch Famine. In 1997, he was presented with the Distinguished Friend of Education Award from the Council of Advancement and Support of Education. His other awards and honors include the Goldberger Award of the American Medical Association (1962), the Conrad A. Elvehjem Award of the American Institute of Nutrition (1969), the International Foundation for Nutrition Research and Education’s Medal of Honor (1987), and the ACSH’s first annual Fredrick J. Stare Award for Distinguished Achievement in Nutrition and Public Health (1994). Stare authored over 400 scientific papers and popular articles related to nutrition and public health, as well as numerous nutrition booklets and pamphlets published by public health organizations and food industry corporations. He authored two nutrition textbooks and sixteen books on nutrition for the general public, including Nutrition for Good Health (1974, 1982) with Margaret McWilliams; Panic in the Pantry (1975, 1992) with Elizabeth Whelan; Living Nutrition (1973, 1977, 1981, 1984) with Margaret McWilliams; Adventures in Nutrition (1991); and Fad-Free Nutrition (1998) with Elizabeth Whelan.

Fredrick J. Stare married Joyce Love Allen (1914-1957), a fellow graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, in 1935. They had three children, Fredrick Allen Stare, David S. Stare, and Mary Stare Wilkinson. He remarried in 1959, to opera singer Helen Elma Haxton Foreman (1915-1974), and again in 1976 to actor and singer Mary Bartlett Engle (1930-2016). They remained married through 1983. He married for a fourth time in 1984, to editor and concert violinist Irene Mackay Kinsey (1913-2013), with whom he remained throughout the rest of his life. Stare died of complications of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease in 2002, in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Collection Arrangement

  1. I. Subject Files, 1912-2002
  2. II. Correspondence Files, 1941-1999
  3. II.A. Chronological Letters, 1980-1997
  4. II.B. Personal Correspondence, 1942-1999
  5. II.C. International Correspondence, 1959-1997
  6. II.D. Corporation Correspondence, 1941-1997
  7. II.E. Digital Letters, 1995-1996
  8. III. Writings and Publications, 1934-1999
  9. IV. Harvard University Administrative Records, 1942-2000
  10. V. Travel Files, 1944-1994
  11. V.A. Itineraries, Receipts, and Notes, 1963-1994
  12. V.B. Travel Journals, 1944-1973
  13. VI. Personal Files, 1945-1999
  14. VI.A. Appointment Calendars, 1945-1999
  15. VI.B. Biographical Files, 1962-1999
  16. VII. Audio, Audiovisual, and Film Recordings, 1972-1988
  17. VIII. Photographs, 1936-1992
  18. IX. Collected Publications, 1939-1999
  19. IX.A. Collected Reprints, Clippings, and Card Catalog, 1947-1999
  20. IX.B. Grey Literature, 1939-1999

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was gifted to the Center for the History of Medicine by Mary Stare Wilkinson in 2016.
  1. Accession number 2017-089. Mary Stare Wilkinson. 2016 October 28.
  2. Accession number 2017-111. Mary Stare Wilkinson. 2016 October 28.

Separations

  1. Ten volumes (VI, XIV, XV, XL-XLVI) of the bound publications of the Harvard School of Public Health Department of Nutrition were separated for cataloging as part of the “Harvard School of Public Health. Department of Nutrition. Collected Papers. Vol. 1-51, 1943/1946-1996”. Rare Books 1.Mhl.1954.2..

Resources about Fredrick J. Stare.

  • Stare, Fredrick J. (Fredrick John), 1910-2002. Adventures in Nutrition: An Autobiography. Hanover, Mass.: Christopher Pub. House, 1991.

Processing Information

Processed by Amber LaFountain, 2018 February.

Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine analyzed, arranged, and described the papers, and created a finding aid to improve access. Items were rehoused and, where necessary, photocopied to acid-free paper. Folder titles were transcribed from the originals when available; titles supplied by the processing staff appear in brackets only on the physical folders. Where possible, personal financial and health records of Stare and his family members, which did not meet the collecting policy of the Center for the History of Medicine, were removed for return to the family. Processing staff also discarded or returned any duplicate records found in the collection.

A large number of Fredrick J. Stare’s published books, and several collected books not authored by Stare, arrived as part of the collection. Among these, books that were annotated were maintained with the collection (in Series III and IX.A). Unannotated books that were not already available as part of the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine’s holdings were separated for possible cataloging. The remainder of the books were removed for discard or return to the family. Bound reprints of the Harvard School of Public Health Department of Nutrition also arrived as part of the collection. Where applicable, these volumes were separated for transfer to Rare Books (see “Separations” note below). Duplicative volumes were separated for discard or return to the family. A complete list of separated books and volumes may be found with the collection’s control files, as well as in the collection’s network drive folder.

All electronic media (as found in Series II) were imaged using Access Data’s FTK and a Forensic Recovery of Evidence Device. Digital files were then transferred to secure network storage. Digital files that could be opened were sampled for content, however, researchers should be aware that not every file in the collection could be opened and assessed. Files for which specific software was needed, but not available to staff at the time of processing, were not reviewed. Electronic media that could not be imaged were retained (and are noted in a local inventory), and any media determined to be blank were discarded.
Link to catalog
Title
Stare, Fredrick J. (Fredrick John), 1910-2002. Papers, 1912-2002 (inclusive), 1950-1999 (bulk): Finding Aid.
Author
Amber LaFountain
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
EAD ID
med00425

Repository Details

Part of the Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine) Repository

Contact:
10 Shattuck Street
Boston MA 02115
(617) 432-2170