Header Image Source: Photo by Marcelo Leal on Unsplash
Other Image: Dr. Max Jacobson (via I Dynamo)
"The doctor wore a white coat that was frequently splattered with blood. His fingernails were filthy, stained by the chemicals he used to concoct his magic elixirs. He wore thick glasses and spoke in a thick German accent. His office was messy, chaotic, crowded with patients who sometimes waited hours to see him.
In a back room, he mixed up his medicines, sometimes passing the potions over magnets or boiling them in beakers with fluorescent stones. His concoctions contained vitamins, steroids, animal placenta, bone marrow—and a powerful dollop of amphetamines, the drug known on the street as “speed.” He injected these cocktails into hundreds of patients, including some of America’s most famous singers, actors and authors. His shots sent them soaring, flushed with energy, ecstasy and supreme self-confidence—at least for a while.
His name was Max Jacobson but his patients called him “Dr. Feelgood.” He believed so strongly in his medicine that he used it himself. Sometimes it kept him awake for days.
Max Jacobson, known as Dr. Feelgood, was known to treat many high-profile celebrities and politicians—presumably using questionable methods and remedies. (AP Photo)
Max Jacobson, known as Dr. Feelgood, was known to treat many high-profile celebrities and politicians—presumably using questionable methods and remedies. (AP Photo) (AP Photo)
“Max was absolutely a quack,” one of his nurses later told an interviewer. “Max was out of his mind.”
Fifty years ago, in May 1961, President John F. Kennedy asked Max Jacobson to accompany him to Vienna, so the doctor could inject him with his medicine before the young president sat down with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in their first summit meeting.
Jacobson immediately agreed. A refugee from Hitler’s Germany, he was proud to treat the president of the United States of America. Ten days later, he was at Kennedy’s side, armed with his potions and syringes, when the president prepared to meet Khrushchev..."
— Source: “How ‘Doctor Feelgood’ Almost Drove John F. Kennedy To The Brink Of Nuclear Disaster” by Peter Carlson (History Net)
“Amphetamines Used by a Physician To Lift Moods of Famous Patients” by Boyce Rensberger (New York Times)
“How ‘Doctor Feelgood’ Almost Drove John F. Kennedy To The Brink Of Nuclear Disaster” by Peter Carlson (History Net)
“The Strange Saga of JFK and the Original ‘Dr. Feelgood’’ by Peter Keating (New York Magazine)
“Hooked by Dr Feelgood: From Monroe and JFK to Liz Taylor, a sensational book reveals how America's elite were in thrall to a shady German doctor who injected them with mind-blowing drugs” by Tony Rennell (Daily Mail via Mail Online)
“What Jackie Kennedy Didn't Say—and Didn't Know” by Dr Nassir Ghaemi (Psychology Today)
“Dr. Max Jacobson Faces State Charges on Conduct” by Jane E Brody (New York Times)