Dr James Bedford the first Cryonicpreservered Human

Born in 1893 Dr. James Bedford was a renowned psychologist from Glendale California. An acclaimed and respected professional, he was regarded highly by his students. He proved to be something of an adventurous traveller too in his day, and his adventurous mind was open to the idea of cryonics which was first discussed as a viable issue in the 1960’s. At the time of his death at 73, on 1.12.1967, he became the first human to be cryopreserved, with the slim hope that one day his body may be revived when a cure for his cancer might be available for him to continue with life.

It was Dr. Bedford’s wish to be put on ice so to speak, and although his wife Glenda and son Norman were never convinced that the science of cryonics would ever work to bring him back to life, they supported his wishes. At the time of his death Dr. Bedford left a bequest of $100,000 to the Cryonics Society of California, but that proved too much for some relatives who challenged his legal will and also demanded that Dr. Bedford be defrosted. Fortunately Dr. Bedford is still contained in a state of cryonic suspension, making history, and even having the date of his death now known as ‘Cryonics Day’.

Today Dr. Bedford is inside a dewar housed at Alcor Life Extension. When Alcor merged with the Institute for Advanced Biological Studies in 1982, Mike Darwin, the founder of the latter, was determined to provide somewhere for Dr. Bedford to reside safely. Prior to Alcor taking on his corpse in 1987, Dr. Bedford had been moved around from pillar to post, lucky not to have been defrosted, as some others were.  http://www.helium.com/items/1843256-cryonics-the-chatsworth-scandal

Conflicting viewpoints have been written by Robert Nelson, head of the Cryonics Institute at the time of Dr Bedford’s death, and others, about what actually happened to the body in the interim period. It is accepted that Norman Bedford was responsible for shuffling his father along at great expense before Alcor stepped in, which was the wish of Glenda Bedford before she died in 1987.

Cryonic procedures have improved dramatically since the first cryopreservaton, and if the technology ever does become available to revive and cure the frozen dead then Dr Bedford will not be alone, as more people become convinced that the science has some merit and provides a slim chance of escaping death. Although Dr. Bedford does not share the company of Walt Disney as is often believed (the latter was cremated) he is surrounded by other cryopreserved heads and bodies. If he ever does become reanimated he will have the distinction of being the oldest living person in the world, ever.

Source: The Alcor Organization