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Stars that died 2010

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Bonnie Prudden, American rock climber and physical fitness advocate, died she was 97.

Bonnie Prudden was a leading American rock climber in the 1940s and 1950s, with 30 documented first ascents to her credit in New York's Shawangunks mountains died she was 97.. [1]
Along with Hans Kraus, she was a pioneering advocate of physical fitness and later developed a form of trigger point therapy called Myotherapy.

(January 29, 1914 – December 11, 2011) 

Early life

A tomboy as a child, her father lost the family money in the Great Depression. Her mother was an alcoholic, prone to going on weekend-long binges. Growing up, her escape was in physical adventure. She was a natural climber, and delighted in climbing trees, walls, houses. A favorite escapade was escaping the house by climbing out of her second story bedroom window and traversing a six inch ledge. The nuns at her parochial school disapproved of Prudden's activities, believing strenuous physical exercise and muscles to be inappropriate for a young lady. She was a professional dancer starting at age 10 (including a stint as a concert dancer on Broadway), as well as a gymnast, a competitive swimmer, diver, and horseback rider.[citation needed]


She married Dick Hirschland, a mountaineer, in 1935. Their honeymoon ascent of the Matterhorn in Switzerland was her first introduction to climbing. She first climbed in the Gunks in 1936 with her husband along with Fritz Wiessner and Hans Kraus. In the winter of 1937, however, she badly fractured her pelvis in a skiing accident, which was followed by three months in traction and a doctors' prediction: "You will always limp; no more skiing, climbing, dancing. And no children." Seven years and two children later, Prudden returned to the Gunks, partnering with good friend Dr. Hans Kraus.
In 1952, the pair were attempting a new climbing route on the cliff known as The Trapps. After attempting the crux overhang, Kraus backed off, handing the lead to Prudden. She was able to find a piton placement that had eluded Hans at the crux, and went on to claim the first ascent of "Bonnie's Roof". Since then, she has stated that she and Kraus always climbed as equal partners, always swapping leads. She stopped climbing in 1959 in the wake of her breakup with Hans Kraus.[citation needed]

Youth fitness

Using a fitness test devised by Drs. Kraus and Sonja Weber of New York Presbyterian Hospital, she began testing children in Europe, Central America and the United States. The Kraus-Weber test involved six simple movements and took 90 seconds to administer. In Italy, Austria and Switzerland, the children tested exhibited an eight percent failure rate. In Guatemala, the failure rate rose to 21 percent. But it was in the United States, the richest country in the world, the failure rate was 58 percent.
Bonnie personally carried her test results to President Dwight D. Eisenhower in Washington, D.C. Prudden’s report was not only responsible for the President’s Council on Youth Fitness (now the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, it also was the beginning of a radical change in American attitudes toward physical fitness.


Prudden wrote 19 books on physical fitness, recorded six exercise albums, hosted the first regular exercise spots on national television, had a syndicated television show, and set up many exercise and fitness programs in schools, hospitals, camps, factories, prisons, mental institutions and social clubs.
In 1992, she moved to Tucson Arizona, where she ran the Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy Institute.


Prudden died in Tucson, Arizona on 11 December 2011, aged 97.[2]

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