Theodore Kalogris was born March 17, 1916. The man with a vision to serve mankind began a humble but fulfilling childhood as the son of first-generation Greek immigrants. As a boy, Theodore’s father told him to live by Horace Mann’s famous quote: “Be ashamed to die until you have scored some victory for humanity.” Theodore lived by this credo his entire life, dedicating his work to improving human health through nutrition.
He grew up in New York City — where one of his favorite pastimes was playing stickball with friends on his street — until his teenage years. His parents sent him to Greece for a pre-college education at the Monastery of St. Stephen. The monastery taught him the value of humility that would drive his later work. Although his father’s dream for him was that he become a theologian, his love of science led him to pursue studies in microbiology. He earned his Bachelor of Science, masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Athens in 1939. After college, he returned to the U.S. and became reacquainted with his parents whom he hadn’t seen since his teens.
World War II
In May of 1943, as U.S. forces were ramping up efforts in World War II, Theodore entered the Army. He soon picked up the nickname “Dr. Ted,” which stayed with him for the rest of his life. He was wounded with shrapnel while parachuting over Europe. His injuries led to the removal of two discs from his lower back and put him in a wheelchair for some time. (Over the years, he built up his strength until he was able to walk with the assistance of canes.) Dr. Ted earned the Purple Heart and was discharged in 1945.
Work in South America
Fascinated by the role of nutrition in large animals and the effect of their nutrition on human consumption, he studied the effects of nutrition on dairy herds in South America. By applying proper nutrition to balance the body chemistry of the herds, he was able to help reduce the occurrence of bovine mastitis, an infection that plagued the dairy cows in the region.
Realizing that the key to animal health lay in proper nutrition, Dr. Ted applied those same principles to human health. For an entire decade, Dr. Ted researched various formulations of vitamins, minerals, herbs and other ingredients to create a supplement that provided optimal nutrition for humans. He began to supplement his own diet with the formulations he had created. When he experienced significant health improvements through better nutrition, he knew he had the key to help others too.
In 1982, Robert and Sandy Montgomery met Dr. Ted at a nutritional supplement conference. After taking Dr. Ted’s formula for about six years, the Montgomerys felt healthier than ever and wanted to share what they had found with the rest of the world. In 1988, the Montgomerys launched Reliv, a direct selling company with the stated mission to “Nourish Our World.” Dr. Ted’s formula would serve as the foundation of Reliv Classic®, the company’s first product, for which he would be granted a U.S. patent that same year.
Through Reliv, Dr. Ted’s pioneering work was able to help countless individuals experience better health. His vision of better nutrition for better health seemed to be coming into focus. However, Dr. Ted knew there was more that could be done to “score some victory for humanity.” In 1995, the Reliv Kalogris Foundation was established in his honor.
Since its inception, the RKF has provided desperately needed nutrition to malnourished men, women and especially children around the world. In 1996, Pope John Paul II invited Dr. Ted and the Montgomerys to an honorary audience to recognize the efforts of the Reliv Kalogris Foundation to nourish needy people worldwide. Today, the RKF provides nutritional support to thousands of people every day through hundreds of nutrition sites around the globe.
On February 8, 2003, Dr. Theodore Kalogris died peacefully at his home in Florida at the age of 86. His legacy of nourishing our world lives on today through the countless people who now enjoy better health and better lives through Reliv.