December 12, 1933|
New York, New York
No-Oil, Whole Foods, Plant-Based Nutrition
|Alma mater||Yale University, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic|
|Known for||Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease
Forks Over Knives
|Influenced||President Bill Clinton
|Notable awards||Gold Medal, 1956 Olympic Games - 8-oared rowing event|
|Competitor for the United States|
|Gold||1956 Melbourne||Men's eights|
Caldwell Blakeman Esselstyn Jr., M.D., (born December 12, 1933) is an American physician, author, and former Olympic rowing champion. He is the author of the 2007 book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease that argues for plant-based, whole foods, no-oil nutrition. The book influenced former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Esselstyn starred in the 2011 American documentary, Forks Over Knives.
Caldwell Esselstyn was born in New York, New York in 1933. He grew up on a cattle farm in upstate New York and attended public schools. He attended Deerfield Academy for high school  and graduated from Yale University in 1956 where he was a member of Skull and Bones. He also competed in the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, winning a gold medal in "eights" as a member of the American team.
Esselstyn received his M.D. from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1961 (during which time he met his wife Ann), and was an Intern (1961-2) and Resident (1962–66) at the Cleveland Clinic. He worked with the Cleveland Clinic beginning in 1968 where he served as President of the Staff and as a member of the Board of Governors. He served as the President of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons in 1991. In 2000, he gave up his post at the Cleveland Clinic.
In 2005, he also "became the first recipient of the Benjamin Spock Award for Compassion in Medicine. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Cleveland Clinic Alumni Association in 2009. In September 2010, he received the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame Award." Esselstyn is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Nutrition Action magazine, published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Book and film 
Esselstyn is the author of the 2007 text, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, in which he discusses his patients' reversals of atherosclerosis by following a no-oil, whole foods, plant-based (vegan) diet, in some cases combined with cholesterol-lowering medication. The second half of the book contains recipes from his wife Ann Crile Esselstyn (the granddaughter of George Washington Crile, founder of the Cleveland Clinic) who works with him to counsel patients on cooking practices. Esselstyn and his family of four children have maintained a plant-based diet since the mid-1980s. Esselstyn attributes the success of his twelve-year trial with heart patients to low mean levels of both total cholesterol (145 mg/dl) and LDL cholesterol (82 mg/dl).
Esselstyn stars in the 2011 documentary Forks Over Knives, based on his work in Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease and the research of his colleague T. Colin Campbell in The China Study. It also explores the work of other doctors who share this approach as well as the personal experiences of some Esselstyn's patients. Esselstyn's son, Rip Esselstyn, a "professional triathlete," firefighter, and author of The Engine 2 Diet based on his father's research, also appears in the film as does his wife Ann.
- Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure. (2007)
- "Is the Present Therapy for Coronary Artery Disease the Radical Mastectomyof the Twenty-First Century?."
- Esselstyn CB Jr. et al. "A Strategy to Arrest and Reverse Coronary Artery Disease: A 5 -Year Longitudinal Study of a Single Physician's Practice." The Journal of Family Practice, 1995 December; 41(6): 560-68.
- Esselstyn CB Jr. Updating a 12 -Year Experience With Arrest and Reversal Therapy for Coronary Heart Disease (An Overdue Requiem for Palliative Cardiology)". The Am J of Cardiology, 1999 August 1; 84:339-341.
- Esselstyn CB Jr. "Resolving the Coronary Artery Disease Epidemic through Plant-Based Nutrition (with photos of disease reversal)." Preventive Cardiology, 2001;4: 171-177.
- Campbell, T. Colin and Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr, MD. "Forks Over Knives: How a Plant-Based Diet Can Save America." Huffington Post, May 13, 2011.
- Official Website:CV
- A New Cardiovascular Approach:Eating for Life
- Official Website: Biography
- "C. B. Esselstyn Jr. Fiance of Ann Crile". New York Times. 1 May 1961. p. 33.
- "1956 Summer Olympics – Melbourne, Australia – Rowing" (Retrieved on May 15, 2008)
- "About Dr. Esselstyn".
- "Scientific Advisory Board". Nutrition Action. Center for Science in the Public Interest. January 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
- The 'heart attack proof' diet?
- "CLEVELAND CLINIC STUDY STOPS PROGRESS OF HEART DISEASE WITH DIET AND CHOLESTEROL DRUGS". August 1, 1999 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- From omnivore to vegan: The dietary education of Bill Clinton
- Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. MD & Dean Ornish MD Explain Bill Clinton's Diet To CNN
- SELECTED ARTICLES BY DR. ESSELSTYN