‘Legend’ Stanley Jacobson Passes; Helped Create DSHEA

Howard Wainer and Stan Jacobson
Howard Wainer presents Stan Jacobson with the first Whole Foods Achievement Award in 1985.

North Miami Beach, FL — Stanley Jacobson, owner of Country Health Store for 21 years and two-time president of the National Nutritional Foods Association [now NPA], passed on Aug. 7 at age 81. He is survived by his wife of 60 years Debra and his two children Margie and Andrew, daughter-in-law Heidi and two grandchildren Amanda and Hudson.

Jacobson’s efforts were instrumental in passing DSHEA, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994.

“He was loved and respected by all and he will be missed. His loss will be felt for the rest of our days,” said his son, Andrew. “May he rest in peace as he is deserving of that.”

WholeFoods Magazine readers in 1985 recognized Stan with the first Whole Foods Achievement Award.

“We lost a legend and a friend,” says Howard Wainer, president of WholeFoods Magazine. “He did so much to help our industry – from legislation to education.”

While campaigning for the presidency of NNFA in 1985, Jacobson said there were two underlying reasons for his candidacy: “I would like to see our industry get the credit that it deserves for the work it has done, and I want to help put the association on a strong business footing.

“This industry has been largely responsible for turning the health ‘fad’ into a real way of life for mainstream America and creating the major market we all work in. Everybody’s talking about nutrition, and it is the mom and pop NNFA member stores that have created this national awareness.

“The office of NNFA president has been called a thankless job, and it’s obviously a tough position to handle,” he continued. “But it’s important to have a president who is aggressive, experienced and knowledgeable if our industry is to go forward. I wouldn’t run if I didn’t think that I could make a difference.”

We say he did.


  1. I’m so sorry to hear this. Stan significantly helped shape the industry as we know it today.

    When I first entered the natural products industry 30 years ago, Stan was a prominent figure, and his leadership in moving the industry forward set an inspiring example.

    My condolences to his family.

  2. I only personally met Stanley one time in Orlando at SOHO. I told him what an inspiration he was to me and he seemed a little surprised at my gushing. I knew him through his SOHO Speaks column and he motivated me to get involved with the effort to save our supplements which became the DSHEA. I went on to get 6 Alabama congressmen to become co-sponsors to the bill. What an experience that was on a scale that may never be duplicated. I served on NNFA SE board 1994 through 2005 finishing my term as President. Thanks Stanley, you had more influence than you probably never knew.


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