Paul Bragg

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Paul Bragg (February 6, 1895December 7, 1976), nutritionist, was a pioneer in America’s wellness movement. [1]


[edit] Early life

Although Paul Chappius Bragg claimed to have been born in Virginia in 1881, and the son of a farmer, public documentation shows rather that he was born in Batesville, Indiana on February 6, 1895 to Robert Elton Bragg, a printer, & Caroline Josephine Chappius Bragg. He was likely named after his father's younger brother, Paul L. Bragg, enumerated at age "1" in the U. S. 1870 Census for Wayne County, Indiana, who apparently died in childhood.

Paul Bragg's paternal grandparents, James H. & Amanda Bragg, can be traced back into Indiana history at least through 1840, while his maternal grandparents, John and Margaret Chappius, were later arrivals to Indiana, having been born in Switzerland & Ohio, respectively. James H. Bragg's occupation was a "miller", while John Chappius was a "stonecutter".

A few years after Paul Bragg's birth, he, his older brother, James Elton Bragg and his parents left Indiana, where his father had been a printer in Indianapolis and Batesville, and moved to Washington. D.C., where his father procured a civil service job as a "Compositor" with the G.P.O. (Government Printing Office) in that city. A third son, John Harrison Bragg, was born in Washington. D.C. on April 8, 1899. Also, apparently, Paul Bragg's mother, Caroline/Carrie, had a previous marriage, & Paul and his brothers may have had an older half-sibling from that marriage, though perhaps not living with the family during their Washington, D.C. years.

The decadial U.S. Census Reports for the years 1900, 1910 and 1920 (by this time, their three sons had left home) show the Robert Elton Bragg Family first residing in apartment houses/rentals at 1102 Capitol Street & then at #6 Quincy Place, Washington, D.C.

After high school, Paul C. Bragg joined the Washington, D,C, National Guard for a 3-year enlistment, where his rank was a "private". (Line 11, 1917 WWI Draft Registration Card).

Paul married an Indiana-born girl by the name of Neva Parnin in New York City in 1915, and at some point, they moved back to Indiana where they resided at 2435 N. New Jersey Street, Indianapolis, and Paul Bragg became an insurance agent with The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in that city. (Lines 7 & 8, 1917 WWI Draft Registration Card).

Sometime later, Paul & Neva returned to the East Coast, where Paul was employed for a few years by various Y's & school districts in physical or athletic director capacities.

In 1921 Paul Bragg and his family, now also including two young daughters, Neva Pauline/Polly and Lorraine (both born in Washington, D.C. on 10/14/1917 & 10/3/1919, respectively), came to California, where Paul was again employed by the Y.M.C.A. (Los Angeles Times, 9/28/1921). Son, Robert Elton, was born in Los Angeles County on March 25, 1922.

It is unknown how long Paul Bragg stayed with the Los Angeles "Y", but in 1924 he was a physical education teacher at Redondo Union High School, Redondo Beach, CA.

Circa 1926, Paul Bragg apparently left paid employment and became an entrepreneur in the health field, first by opening an establishment on N. 7th Street, Los Angeles, called "Health Center of Los Angeles" and then, in 1928, "Bragg Health Center" on South Hill Street, Los Angeles. Likely to publicize these businesses, he also wrote a weekly health column (in the early days they were "advertorials") in The Los Angeles Times from 1926 to 1928 which he sometimes called "Newslets" and other times "Health Notes". The health services that business endeavors offered are described in the advertorials and columns.

1929 was the beginning of Paul Bragg's health lecture tours where he went to various American cities (for instance, Oakland, CA and San Antonio & Dallas, TX in 1929), rented a facility, advertised heavily, then gave a series of lectures---usually over a period of five or six consecutive evenings. His lectures were free, but he did charge a fee for post-lecture private consultation. ($20 circa 1935 according to testimony in a Maryland court case against him).

1929 was also the copyright year of the first health book attributed to Paul Bragg as author...."Cure Yourself". Since book stores or book departments in retail stores in that era were usually only accessible in the more highly populated areas, another purpose of Bragg's lecture tours was most likely to promote and sell his books.

During the Braggs' first decade in California (year unknown), Paul & Neva Bragg divorced, and in the 1930 U.S. Census (which is the last census currently of public record until the 1940 one becomes available in 2012), Neva & her new husband, August Busch, were shown living with the three Bragg children in Los Angeles, CA. There was no record of Paul C. Bragg being counted in the 1930 Census.

[edit] Healthy Lifestyle Legacy

Bragg advocated using deep breathing, water fasts, organic foods, drinking distilled water, juicing, exercise and listening to one's body as methods of prolonging life span. He believed that every human can live to 120 by living a healthy life.

Patricia Bragg who claims to be Paul's daughter [2] has since taken over Bragg's health empire. According to official records, she was actually his former daughter-in-law, having previously been married to Robert Elton Bragg (1952 to 1956).

[edit] Some of his achievements

Bragg was the inspiration and personal health and fitness advisor to top Olympic stars from 4-time swimming Gold Medalist Murray Rose to 3-time track Gold Medalist Betty Cuthbert of Australia, his relative (pole-vaulting Gold Medalist), Don Bragg and countless others. Jack LaLanne, the original TV Fitness King said, “Bragg saved my life at age 15 when I attended the Bragg Crusade in Oakland, California.”[3]

Paul Bragg also wrote many successful books, such as "The Miracle of Fasting".

Bragg died in South Shore Hospital, Miami Beach,FL on 12/7/1976. He is believed to have died from a heart attack brought on by complications following a surfing accident. (Also Ref. State of Florida Death Certificate File No. 76-0846ll, Registrar's No. 15075, signed by Seymour B. London, M.D.).

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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