John Harvey Kellogg is known as the father of modern breakfast cereal. He was born in Tyrone Township, Michigan, on February 26, 1852, into a Seventh Day Adventist family. At age 12, he became an apprentice at the Review and Herald Press, a publishing company run by the church. He attended school in Battle Creek, Michigan. He attended Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York where he received his medical degree in 1875. In 1876, at the age of 24, Kellogg became an abdominal surgeon and superintendent of the Western Health Reform Institute, which he renamed the Battle Creek Sanitarium. There, he began applying his theories about natural living to his medical practice. Himself a vegetarian, he first advocated a diet high in whole grains, fruits, nuts, and legumes. He later included all types of vegetables in the diet. His controversial health regimen included morning calisthenics, open-air sleeping, cleansing enemas, chewing food hundreds of times before swallowing, and drinking plenty of water.
In the 1890s, Kellogg established a laboratory at the sanitarium to develop more nutritious foods. His brother, Will Keith Kellogg, joined in his research. In 1895 they developed a breakfast cereal of wheat flakes called Granose. The cereal quickly grew in popularity and was soon sold by mail order. This was followed by rice flakes and corn flakes. The brothers established the Sanitas Food Company. But philosophical differences led them to split into two companies. Will founded the W. K. Kellogg Company, which retained the rights to the cereal products. John set up the Battle Creek Food Company, which produced coffee substitutes and soymilk. John Kellogg also edited Good Health Magazine, which promoted vegetarianism, for 60 years. In 1904, he published a book, The Miricle of Life. He continued to promote his version of healthy living and radical techniques until his death in 1943.