T. J. Bass
1932 – 2011
Who was T. J. Bass?
T. J. Bass, real name Thomas J. Bassler, MD was an American science fiction author and physician, having graduated from the University of Iowa in 1959. Bassler is also known for his widely discredited claim that nonsmokers able to complete a marathon in under four hours can eat whatever they wish and never suffer a fatal heart attack.
U.S. Congressman Goodloe Byron died from a heart attack while jogging in October 1978. He was 49 years old. According to nutritionist and longevity research pioneer Nathan Pritikin, Byron had run six Boston Marathons, with a best time of 3:28:40, and had not smoked for 25 years. Byron was intrigued by Bassler's claim of immunity. Consequently, he ignored warnings from his physician who told him that treadmill tests from 1974 to 1978 indicated his coronary arteries were gradually closing. The last treadmill test in January 1978 "indicated severe abnormality and was positive for heart disease." The physician advised Byron to stop running until further tests could be done.