Rodale has published a number of hugely successful books, including The South Beach Diet, a best-seller and the first book published on the widely-popular South Beach Diet.
Rodale also released another best-seller with Pete Rose's 2004 autobiography, My Prison Without Bars, in which the controversial all-time Major League Baseball hit leader first confessed to gambling on professional baseball while playing with the Cincinnati Reds. My Prison Without Bars is viewed widely as Rose's mea culpa attempt to reverse Major League Baseball's decision to ban him from the game and the Baseball Hall of Fame because of his gambling violations.
Rodale Press publishes numerous internationally-distributed and widely read health magazines, including Prevention, Men's Health, Women's Health, Organic Gardening, Bicycling and Runner's World. Rodale also publishes a national men's lifestyle magazine entitled Best Life. Rodale's Custom Publishing department publishes both RVLiving magazine and Little Brown Book (the magazine for Bloomingdale's insiders).
Founded in 1930, Rodale Press now employs roughly 1,100 people.
J.I. Rodale founded Rodale Inc. in 1930. He was a partner with his brother Joseph in Rodale Manufacturing which manufactured electrical switches. Joseph Rodale moved Rodale Manufacturing to Emmaus to take advantage of favorable local taxes. While Joseph ran Rodale Manufacturing, J.I. dabbled in publishing. In 1942, he started Organic Farming and Gardening magazine. It taught people how to grow better food without using chemicals in the soil. Today, Organic Gardening is the most highly read gardening magazine in the world. It provides readers with tools, ideas and information needed to grow their food without using chemicals, following the principles of the organic movement.
In 1950, Rodale introduced Prevention, a health magazine. It approached illness in a strategic way, focusing on its prevention. Today, Prevention magazine is the 11th largest magazine in the world, with over 10 million readers worldwide each month.
In 1971, Rodale died during a taping of The Dick Cavett Show, and his son Robert D. Rodale (1930-1990) took over the company's leadership.
On September 20, 1990, Robert Rodale was killed in a car accident during a business trip in Russia. His wife, Ardath, and daughter, Maria, have led the company since.
On June 18, 2007 Ardath Rodale stepped down as chairwoman, allowing her daughter, Maria, to take the helm of the company. Ardath will remain a member of the company's board, and take the new title of Chief Inspiration Officer.
Numerous websites report frequent calls from a telemarketer on behalf of Rodale (US numbers 610-967-7991 and 610-967-7994), often to people who have had no relationship to the company and often to people who have their numbers listed on the National Do Not Call registry. When answered, there is usually nobody there. Calls placed to the number displayed on Caller ID reach a recording stating that Rodale has in fact engaged a telemarketing firm. If one waits long enough, one can get through to a human being, though attempts to have your number eliminated from their relentless and possibly illegal telemarketing scheme are generally reported to be useless.
Links to complaint websites (retrieved 11 July 2008):