National Fitness Hall of Fame Museum & Institute

Educate * Motivate * Inspire

Bonnie Prudden

2006 NFHOF Inductee

“Healthy American Fitness Leader”


Hometown: Tuscon, Arizona


Everyone should be thanking Ms. Bonnie Prudden. Bonnie (born in 1914) was one the first fitness experts to be called on by the President to get our nation’s kids back in shape.

Who knows how many, millions upon millions of “shuttle-runs,” “push-up” and “sit-ups” were done because of her pioneering efforts in developing sound fitness programs for our schools. Her life’s work, over the past 94 years, has benefited both children and adults of our great nation!

In 1955, Bonnie received a personal invitation from then Vice President Nixon which read:  “Dear Miss Prudden, The President (Eisenhower) has asked me to serve as Chairman of the Conference on Fitness of American Youth which he as called for September 27 and 28 (1955) at Lowry Air Fore Base in Denver, Colorado…I shall look forward to the opportunity of seeing you upon your arrival in Denver. I am sure that the distinguished group of 125 national leaders who will participate in the Conference will be able to make some significant and helpful recommendations to the President as how we can improve the standards of health, recreation and physical fitness for America’s youth….With every good wish, Sincerely, Richard Nixon.”

Following that meeting, Shane MacCarthy, Executive Director of the President’s  Council on Youth Fitness wrote, “The positive tone of the discussion, in which the specific suggestions offered by you played an important part, will enable the Council to present some very concrete ideas as guides upon which organizations and communities may build their own programs to stimulate healthy and wholesome habits of physical activities.”

For more information about Bonnie visit: