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Maria Rodale

Author, Activist

Biography

Maria Rodale is an author, activist and detective in search of the mysteries of the universe.

She is the author of the following books: Scratch, Organic Manifesto, Betty’s Book of Laundry Secrets, It’s My Pleasure and Maria Rodale’s Organic Gardening.

From 1986 to 2017 she spent her career in the family publishing business, Rodale Inc, which published the magazines Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Prevention, Organic Gardening, Runner’s World and Bicycling. Men’s Health was published in 99 Countries. Rodale Inc also published such classic books as The South Beach Diet, Doctors Book of Home Remedies, Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore and Onward, by Howard Schultz. During her career she worked in marketing circulation, leading the in-house advertising agency, strategic planning and led the first brand integrated business (books, magazines, digital and e-commerce) for the Organic Living business. In 2009 Maria became CEO and Chairman of the board, leading the company through the Great Disruption and ultimately selling the company to Hearst in 2018. In 2016 she launched the children’s book imprint, Rodale Kids, which is now owned by Penguin Random House.

She has also been involved as a board member and co-chairman of the Rodale Institute, an independent scientific research and education non-profit which studies regenerative organic vs. chemical agriculture. She was Co-Chair from 2007 to 2017 and still sits on the board. Her grandfather is considered the founder of the organic movement in America.

From 2003 to 2011 she was on the board of Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project. And she also served on the Pennsylvania Federal Reserve Advisory council from 2014 to 2017. She also served on the board of the multi-billion-dollar non-profit hospital Lehigh Valley Health Network.

She has received many awards for her lifetime of service and activism, including the National Audubon Rachel Carson Award in 2004, United Nations Population Fund’s Award for the Health and Dignity of Woman Everywhere in 2007, and The Auburn University International Quality of Life Award in 2014.

In 1985 she graduated from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA with a dual major in Communications and Art. And in 2017 she received an honorary Doctorate Degree from Delaware Valley University.

She resides in Bethlehem, PA and is the mother to three daughters and one son in law. She has one grandchild, one cat and 12 chickens.