Phil Sokolof, a millionaire industrialist whose own near-fatal heart attack at age 43 spurred a crusade against the evils of fatty foods, died on Thursday, April 15, 2004, in Omaha. He was 82. He died after a short illness that was not heart-related, said the National Heart Savers Association, which he founded in the mid-'80s. Sokoloff claimed to have spent $15 million battling the "The Poisoning of America" by unhealthy saturated fats used in many processed foods. Several large companies -- Kraft and Procter & Gamble -- eventually responded by switching to oils lower in fat. He also targeted fast-food giants like McDonald's, sparking the removal of beef tallow from french fries and the moves toward low-fat menus. Sokolof , however, considered his greatest achievement passage of the 1991 federal law that requires food labels to carry "nutrition facts."
AP/Nati Harnik, file