JFK's Secret Doctor tells a thrilling story of adventure and a historic medical career. Set against the grand panorama of 20th century world events, it captures the remarkable life and spirit of climber and medical visionary Hans Kraus (1905–1996). Kraus was taught English by writer James Joyce, escaped Nazi-dominated Europe, and was JFK's secret back specialist. A legendary rock climber, known for hair-raising ascents on two continents, Kraus lived a life full of triumph, tragedy, intensity, verve, and a whole lot of guts, glory, and wit. Few realized that the same man, considered one of the great unsung medical pioneers of the 20th century, was also making headline news throughout the second half of the 1950s, was a guest of honor at Eisenhower’s White House, and the cover story of major magazines throughout America, including Sports Illustrated. His pioneering work in muscles and fitness uncovered shocking truths about the health of American children, and his work curing back pain brought him into the Kennedy White House and inner circle of Camelot.
Here is the life of Hans Kraus, including the previously untold story of Kennedy’s debilitating back problems, including Kennedy’s White House medical records and first-time interviews with two Kennedy White House doctors.
Austrian doctor and rock climber Hans Kraus was a medical visionary whose life was crowded with remarkable experiences. He learned English from James Joyce, escaped Nazi-dominated Europe, and eventually cured John F. Kennedy's back pain using the then-groundbreaking theory that exercise and activity could combat muscle problems.
Award-winning narrator Joe Barrett perfectly evokes Kraus' verve and wit, and while he provides characters with distinct accents, he takes care not to overdo. However, Barrett's versatility is most illustrated in his dignified and subtle treatment of Kraus' personal tragedies, particularly with the doctor's poignant battles with depression.
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We need more people like Dr. Kraus in healthcare.