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May 1, 1910: Although Harry Ellington Brook was a popular and respected institution at The Times from 1886 to 1912 and 1917 to 1924, I had never encountered him before, and his proclamations on health can only be described as staggering. Consider “tuberculosis is not contagious” from Feb. 17, 1924, or the possibility that no babies will be born in the U.S. in 2000, from Dec. 30, 1923. On the jump, what really causes malaria ... and throw out your wool underwear!
His obituary, on the jump, doesn’t indicate that “Dr. Brook” had any medical training whatsoever. In fact, he seems to have been nothing more than a typical itinerant journeyman newspaperman of the 19th and early 20th centuries with a strong interest in health. He received an honorary degree from the American School of Naturopathy in 1921. Brook was the author of “The City and County of Los Angeles in Southern California,” published by the Chamber of Commerce in 1907.