Robert Rodale; Built Magazines Into Giant Firm
Robert Rodale, who built a publishing empire from his father’s magazines Prevention and Organic Gardening, was killed Thursday in a car accident in Moscow, the company said. He was 60.
Rodale was in the Soviet Union to set up a Russian-language edition of the New Farmer, one of numerous publications of the Rodale Press Inc. devoted to a natural approach to agriculture that reduces reliance on chemicals.
He and the Soviet publisher of the new venture were killed on their way to the Moscow airport, said Kae Tienstra, spokeswoman for the company.
Rodale, a former Olympic shooting competitor, had devoted his recent years to the Rodale Institute, spreading around the world his doctrine of “regenerative agriculture,” aimed at saving and rebuilding soils worn out by conventional farming.
The Rodale Press has become a publishing giant known for its sophisticated direct-marketing techniques. The company, which publishes Runner’s World, Bicycling, Backpacker and Practical Homeowner, among others, had $214 million in revenue last year.
J. I. Rodale, who started the company in 1918, died in 1971 during a taping of “The Dick Cavett Show.”