Terry Dunkle, Founder and Chairman

Terry Dunkle, Founder and Chairman

Mr. Dunkle is chairman, CEO, and editor-in-chief of DietPower, Inc. (www.dietpower.com), which produces nutrition and fitness software for the personal computer and health news and features for the World Wide Web. He and a friend, John Heller, started the company in 1988.

From 1996 to 1999, Dunkle was executive producer and editor-in-chief of HealthScout, which became the Web's largest personalized health news service, now syndicated on more than 5000 sites. Dunkle conceived the service (now divided into HealthDay and HealthScout), wrote its patented personalization algorithm, and established its prize-winning news team. HealthScout won two silver medals in the World Wide Web Health Awards.

Before building HealthScout, Dunkle was a top editor at the world's largest magazine, Reader's Digest, whose readership of 100 million included one in four American adults. Besides directing the magazine's core editorial staff, Dunkle created original articles for its 48 editions around the globe. Among the articles:

  • "The Reader's Digest Home Eye Test," taken in more than 2 million households, alerted readers to symptoms of eye disease in time to save their sight, and in some cases their lives. Researched and written by Robert C. Yeager, it was the first consumer magazine article to win the American Public Health Association's "Paper of the Year" Award.
  • "America's New Merchants of Death," published simultaneously in 17 languages and read in virtually every country, blew the whistle on Big Tobacco for promoting smoking among Third World children. Dunkle produced the article with investigative reporter William Ecenbarger.
  • "A Suntan Can Kill You," by David Reuben, M.D., was the first major magazine article to reveal that sunscreens promote skin cancer by giving users a false sense of security—filtering out the tanning rays but not the more dangerous shorter wavelengths. Partly as a result of this 1988 report, sunscreens have since been reformulated.
  • "Warning: Cigarettes Are Harmful to Your Love Life," also produced with Dr. Reuben, was the first comprehensive report for lay readers to link smoking and impotence.
  • "A Driving Tip To Save Your Life" was the first major article to urge Americans to keep their automobile headlights on in the daytime. Written by Remar Sutton, the article was published in 1990, seven years before the federal government made daytime running lights mandatory on new cars.
  • "Drilling For Gold," another investigative piece by William Ecenbarger, exposed widespread malpractice in the dental industry. Conceived by Dunkle in 1996, the article details Ecenbarger's travels from dentist to dentist around the United States, asking for examinations and estimates. The piece ran as the lead story in the magazine's February 1997 issue.

Before joining Reader's Digest, Dunkle was features editor of Technology Illustrated. In the early 1980s he was a contributing editor of Science 80, a consumer sibling of the journal Science. His writing helped Science 80 win two National Magazine Awards for General Excellence. During this same period, he taught magazine and technical writing at Pennsylvania State University, where he graduated first in his class with a B.A. in English literature. An avid amateur astronomer, he began his college career as a physics major at Cornell University.

Dunkle's computer experience started during high school, when he spent a summer studying programming and engineering at Brown University. Later, he worked as a computer technician in Air Force intelligence, helping to operate spy satellites. He combined his computer and health interests to create the first version of DietPower in 1992.

Dunkle began his journalism career during his teens, as a reporter for small-town newspapers in his native Pennsylvania. His wife, Mary, is a vice president of the National Organization for Rare Disorders. The Dunkles live in Connecticut.


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