William Dufty Biography Add BookOn June 28, 2002, William Dufty passed away in Detroit, Michigan, at the age of 86.
Beginning his life in Michigan in 1916, Dufty launched his fame with a talent for the piano and broadcasting his own radio show before the age of 12. After attending Wayne University, Dufty worked as a columnist, speechwriter, and radio producer. In 1942, he was drafted and spent four years in service in Europe and North Africa.
Charismatic and ever charming, Dufty later worked as a free-lance writer for The New York Post, eventually receiving the George Polk award in 1955 for Metropolitan Reporting, and the Newspaper Guild Page One Award. "He was from a period where the press had real access, reporters were reporters, not media celebrities and he was a great newspaperman in the old mold... A few hours with William Dufty and you never forgot him," comments a creator of the East West Journal. (http://www.dolfzine.com)
In the mid 1950s, Dufty worked with his friend, jazz singer Billie Holiday, to create her famous autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues.
In the 1960s Dufty became inspired by macrobiotic guru George Ohsawa's book, Zen Macrobiotics, and swore off sugar, meat, and processed food in favor of whole grains and vegetables. He met with Ohsawa, upon the Japanese man's arrival in New York, and helped to start the first macrobiotic center in New York City on 2nd Avenue. Dufty soon helped introduce America to Ohsawa's teachings with the book You Are All Sanpaku in 1965. The popularity of Sanpaku, which caught the eyes of celebrities such as John Lennon and Yoko Ono, played a major role in fueling the natural food revolution.
Through his influence in macrobiotics, Dufty reaquainted himself with screen goddess and health activist Gloria Swanson, and they joined forces in her crusade against the evils of sugar. In 1975, Dufty published Sugar Blues, a down and dirty expose of the havoc sugar wreaked on the health and history of civilization (including the exhaustive research to back it up). Sugar Blues, which unabashedly pointed fingers at whole food industries such as Coca-Cola, was lauded by the press and quickly became a #1 bestseller, with over a million and a half copies in print today. In 1976, Dufty took the next steps in his collaboration with Swanson at the marriage altar, and later authored her autobiography Swanson on Swanson (1981).
After Swanson's death in 1983, Dufty moved back to Michigan and was a regular contributor to newspapers, magazines, and journals. In August of 2001, Dufty was recognized by the Kushi Institute for his life achievements, and awarded the first Aveline Kushi Memorial Award.
A man with a critical mind and the courage to seek out the truth, William Dufty is truly one of our great "unsung heros." (YK)
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