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Norman Wardhaugh Walker (4 January 1886 – 6 June 1985) was a British businessman and pioneer in the field of vegetable juicing and nutritional health. He advocated the drinking of fresh raw vegetable and fruit juices, both to regain and to maintain one's health. Based on his design, the Norwalk Hydraulic Press Juicer was developed. This juicer continues to be produced and sold today. Walker wrote several books on nutrition and healthy living.
Walker was notable for at least three reasons: (1) He was the author of at least six books published from 1937 to 1978. (2) He was the inventor of an important and innovative commercial juicer that is still manufactured today. (3) He was a pioneer in the raw foods, juicing, and vegetarian movements, each of which has grown in size and scope over the years.
As of 2006, most book reviews and promotional web sites wrongly claim that Walker reached the phenomenal age of, variously, 109, 113, 116, 118 or even 119 years. Several official sources, the US Social Security Death Index and a grave marker all indicate that he actually lived to be 99 years of age.
I can truthfully say that I am never conscious of my age. Since I reached maturity, I have never been aware of being any older, and I can say, without equivocation or mental reservation, that I feel more alive, alert, and full of enthusiasm today than I did when I was 30 years old. I still feel my best years are ahead of me. I never think of birthdays, nor do I celebrate them. Today I can truthfully say that I am enjoying vibrant health, I don't mind telling people how old I am: I AM AGELESS!"
Walker was born (1886) in Genoa, Liguria, Italy to Robert Walker, a Baptist Minister from Scotland, and Lydia Maw Walker. He was the second of the six children of Rev. and Mrs. Walker that lived to adulthood. As a young man, he discovered the value of vegetable juices while recovering from a breakdown in a peasant house in the French countryside. Watching the woman in the kitchen peel carrots, he noticed the moistness on the underside of the peel. He decided to try grinding them and had his first cup of carrot juice.
Walker followed his parents and siblings to the United States, leaving England in 1910 on the S.S. Lusitania, and arriving in New York City in October of that year, where Walker worked at various occupations (although he gave his occupation as "painter" in his immigration interview). Although Walker has never shown up in any publicly released Federal Censuses, he and wife Margaret were enumerated in both the interim New York State Censuses of 1915 and 1925, where his birthplace was stated as "Italy" and occupations given for him as "janitor" and "real estate", respectively.
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