Best remembered for inventing the graham cracker, this early nineteenth-century figure led a dietary crusade, convincing his followers that vegetarianism would cure their unhealthy desires for alcohol and the flesh. He outlined his philosophy of life, health, and diet in his 1839 work Lectures on the Science of Human Life.
During the 1820s, he briefly attended Amherst College and went on to receive his ordination as a Presbyterian minister.
His "Graham diet" included vegetables and fruits, whole wheat bread, and small servings of dairy products; spicy foods and meat were not on the menu.
The son of Reverend John Graham, he grew up in Suffield, Connecticut, with nearly twenty siblings.
A notable "Grahamite," entrepreneur W.K. Kellogg co-invented cornflakes as an extension of Graham's teaching that whole wheat was a healthier alternative to white bread.