Founder of one of the most well-known dietary approaches, Dr. Atkins was born on October 17, 1930 and passed away April 17, 2003. He worked as a physician and cardiologist for many years before creating his dietary approach that caught on like wildfire.
Because his diet focused on the foods that most people on a diet were avoiding at all costs, many welcomed the change. They were tired of being overly worried about even a single fat gram creeping into their meal and Dr. Atkins changed they way they thought.
Dr. Atkins unfortunately developed a heart condition known as cardiomyopathy around 2000, which caused a great deal of controversy among both those who were following his diet and those who weren't. People were wondering if his approach was really all that healthy after all, considering a high intake of saturated fat is known to cause heart disease.
This was not what caused him to pass away however; he passed away due to kidney failure, which occurred after severe head trauma from slipping on ice outside of his office. It was the rumours by the media that caused many to believe that he had in fact died from his heart condition.
Regardless of whether his heart condition caused him death or not though, it definitely did make people sit up and either modify his plan slightly to decrease the intake of saturated fat or else abandon it all together.
Furthermore, at death his weight was at a very high level, high enough to be classified as obese, which also drew many concerns amongst the public.
Still though, his diet program lives on although there have definitely been a number of changes to it in the last few years to take into account some of the health risks that the former plan was associated with.