His radio station was shut down. His medical license was revoked. So he ran for Governor
, 1932), and almost won. Twice. "Dr". John R. Brinkley
, the goat gland doctor, (previously
on Metafilter) had six weeks. He also had a plane, a huckster's skills, a staff skilled in promotion, and lots of chutzpah.Kansas in the 1930s
was hit hard by the Great Depression and the Dustbowl, and the mainstream parties got a judge to say that only one correct spelling ("John R. Brinkley" Not Doc Brinkley. Not J. R. Brinkley. Not Brinkly.) would be accepted on write-in votes. He lost by only 30,000 votes. When he was actually on the ballot 2 years later, he lost by a similar margin. Meanwhile, he set up the first Border Blaster
radio station on the Mexican border and introduced a big chunk of the United States to everyone from the Carter Family to Wolfman Jack. Oh, and beamed a steady stream of dubious medical advice, self-aggrandizing sermons and lectures, rants about the AMA and FCC, and even prescribed medicine over the air.
This Goat Glands and Sunshine
profile outlines his strong grasp on public relations and spin, of salesmanship and the magic of new technology. Kansas Memory
has a wonderful collection of his brochures, advertisements, photographs (including that of Ammunition #1
and the plane
he barnstormed the state with), and even a few sermons and lectures in mp3 form.