Harold D. Foster, PhD

(1943—2009)

Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame

Inducted 2010

Harold Foster was deeply invested in the resilience of life on the planet, and improving the quality of life for all living things. For more than 40 years, Harold worked as a geomorphologist, professor of medical geography, consultant to the United Nations and NATO in disaster planning, and avid researcher which culminated in the formation of the Harold Foster Foundation.

A Canadian by choice, he was born in Tunstall, Yorkshire, England, and educated at the Hull Grammar School and University College London. While at university, he specialized in Geology and Geography, earning a B.Sc. in 1964 and a Ph.D. in 1968. He was a faculty member in the Department of Geography, University of Victoria, from 1967 to 2008. As a tenured professor, he authored or edited over 300 publications, the majority of which focused on reducing disaster losses or identifying the causes of chronic degenerative and infectious diseases.

His numerous books include Disaster Planning: The Preservation of Life and Property; Health, Disease and the Environment, and Reducing Cancer Mortality: A Geographical Perspective. He also wrote six books in the What Really Causes series, including those on AIDS, Alzheimer’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Schizophrenia, SIDS, and Breast Cancer.

Harry became one of the giants in orthomolecular medicine, with boundless enthusiasm, a prolific gift of writing, and was a researcher who made unique contributions in our understanding of health and disease. Harry’s soaring scientific mind combined his expertise in geography, epidemiology and orthomolecular medicine to create new insights into nutritional medicine. He had a gift for synthesizing diverse, seemingly unrelated phenomena and showing us the orthomolecular whole.

A fixture at many of the Orthomolecular Medicine Today Conferences, Harry’s eagerly anticipated presentations were always fresh and original as he explored the complex relationships between genetic inheritance, health and the “nutritional geographies” of the world. He also conducted many groundbreaking studies of selenium in AIDS therapy in Africa- A low tech, but surprisingly effective approach which large pharmaceutical companies ignored in favour of expensive western therapies which, in the end, few Africans would be able to afford.

Harry’s accomplishments as a writer, researcher and educator are many and cover a broad range, including serving on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine for fifteen years, and on the board of directors for the International Schizophrenia Foundation for thirteen years.