Norman Cousins

Norman Cousins

Norman Cousins, a successful author, journalist, professor, and world peace advocate, was born in New Jersey in 1915. He graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in the Bronx, then earned his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University’s Teachers College. In 1934, he joined the staff of the New York Post. Soon after, he moved to the Saturday Review, where, in 1942, he was named editor in chief, a post he would hold until 1972.   Cousins was a tireless advocate for world peace. Albert Einstein called him to Princeton University to discuss issues of nuclear disarmament and world federalism. He was awarded the Eleanor Roosevelt Peace Award, the Family Man of the Year Award, the United Nations Peace Medal, the Niwano Peace Prize, and the Albert Schweitzer Prize.   Cousins also served as adjunct professor of medical humanities for the School of Medicine at UCLA, where he did research on the biochemistry of human emotions, which he believed were the key to understanding human beings’ success in fighting illness. When he was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, Cousins, working closely with his doctor, prescribed himself large doses of vitamins, laughter, and a positive attitude. The treatment was a success, and Cousins survived. His book, Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient (1979), based on his illness and recovery, was one of the first to bring widespread attention to holistic health and healing. In 1990, he passed away at the age of seventy-five, having lived twenty-six years longer than his doctors predicted.

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