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Robert C. Sohn: 1939-1997.
Dr. Robert Sohn, founder and CEO of Sunsource International, Inc., who died in January, is best known throughout the herbal industry as the man who did what everyone else at the time said couldn't be done -- he successfully launched an herbal product into the mass market, transforming the industry and opening the doors for other natural product companies to follow. The first product he marketed, the Swiss-made Ginsana(R) ginseng extract, grew to become the largest-selling ginseng product in the U.S., as Sunsource continued to grow and expand with other natural health products. His vision and commitment to the health and well-being of people and the planet was reflected through his founding and continued leadership in the New Center College for Wholistic Health Education and Research in Syosset, New York, and Sustainable Technologies, Inc., in Maui, Hawaii. Synchromic Studios, Inc., is an award-winning video production facility, also founded by Dr. Sohn to creatively communicate solutions to environmental problems. He was a founding member and past-president of the American Association for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine as well as a key supporter of other organizations involved with Oriental and alternative medicine, body work, and holistic health.

Dr. Sohn also created the nonprofit Sohn Foundation which was responsible for providing the initial funding for ABC's Ginseng Evaluation Program, an unprecedented evaluation of commercial ginseng products sold in North America. According to ABC Executive Director, Mark Blumenthal, "Dr. Sohn was truly a unique individual. His vision and pioneering efforts in bringing quality herbal products to the mainstream will have an irreversible beneficial impact on the long-term health of all Americans."

He is survived by his wife, Tina, author of a book on Ammay, a traditional healing system of Korea.

Article copyright American Botanical Council.

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By Lorri Rosenthal and Barbara Johnston