He is not a household name, but Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. has been a
constant and outspoken advocate of what some would call a vegan diet.
His 2007 book, "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease," inspired President
Bill Clinton to adopt a plant-based diet free of fats and dairy
products. Esselstyn is also featured in the documentary "Forks Over
Knives," a film that has changed the way many Americans look at their
food. He graduated from Yale University and won a gold medal rowing
with his eight-man crew in the 1956 Summer Olympics. He went to Case
Western Reserve University School of Medicine, served in the Vietnam
War as a surgeon and became a researcher at the Cleveland Clinic. At
79, he is still going strong.
Excerpts from an interview: