Rynn Berry, Pioneer in Vegetarianism and Veganism, Has Died

Berry passed away Thursday, Jan. 9, after remaining unidentified for several days

Rynn Berry dedicated his life to promoting the vegan and vegetarian movement.

An unidentified jogger lay unconscious in the intensive-care unit at New York Methodist Hospital for several days before being identified as Rynn Berry, 68. Berry, an avid jogger in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, was out jogging on New Year’s Eve, carrying only keys and an asthma inhaler and no identification, when he collapsed due to cardiac arrest.

After emergency crews transported Berry to the hospital, he remained unconscious and in a coma, while media blasts and emails among running clubs circulated to help name the John Doe. When Berry’s half brother identified him, Berry had already been taken off life support.

Berry dedicated his life to promoting the vegan and vegetarian movement, writing several books such as Vegan Guide to New York City, Fruits of Tantalus, Food for the Gods, Famous Vegetarians, and Hitler: Neither Vegetarian nor Animal Lover.

Berry was an advocate for the history of vegetarianism, explaining on his website that he "think[s] it is important that people be made aware that the vegetarian movement has a venerable history behind it. It didn't spring full-blown from the head of a flower child in the 1960's. It really begins with Pythagoras in the West in the sixth century BC and has reasserted itself periodically ever since."


Berry described himself as being in good physical health despite having only eaten raw foods since 1994. The culinary icon will be remembered for his pivotal roles in helping to bring the vegan and vegetarian movement to the forefront.