Frank Rudolph Young wrote several books about mental training and yoga, some with lurid titles such as "Secret Mental Powers: Miracle of Mind Magic" and "Yoga Secrets for Extraordinary Health and Long Life".

Is there a reliable source for his biographical details?

Google (and I mean that company, not some other party whose writings it links to) describes Young as born in 1911 and as still alive, making him 110 years old. (This is what that company tells me in an infobox when I type his name into its websearch engine.)

The following text is also on the web, not sourced further, sounding for all the world like a book blurb:

"FRANK RUDOLPH YOUNG, 'the man of wonder,' an internationally esteemed scientist of the mind-body, has been hailed as being as far ahead of his time as the science-fiction fantasies which come astonishingly true. Totally independent in his secret discoveries, he is in a class by himself. His whole life has been one of relentless research into the human mind-body and the miracle powers of its physiology when unleashed consciously.

He grew up in intimate relationship with his godfather, a potential potentate who used Secret Mental Powers to become President of his country. With the secrets of the Zohar, aided with the well-guarded discoveries in his mind-body laboratory, Frank Young found the mystery behind the right physiological language, the scientific trigger of Secret Mental Powers.

Frank Rudolph Young's granduncle was a long-lived Yogi in far-away India. For 40 years, Mr. Young's father investigated the secrets of psychic power in the West Indies and in Central and South America. Dr. Young himself spent 30 years investigating the scientific laws behind yoga and mind science. He has taught these findings to thousands of followers throughout the world."

Elsewhere he is described as having died in his 90s.

A fourth source states he was "a chiropractor, a bodybuilder, and an athlete with a background in dentistry [who] developed a system of exercise he called 'Yogametrics' which served as a system of bodybuilding, health enhancement, and spinal alignment."

None of these sources are what I would call in any way "reliable".

What can we reliably say about this author's biography? Where and when was he born? Was the name "Frank Rudolph Young" on his birth certificate or is it a pen name? If he is not still alive, then when did he pass away? Who were his parents? Did he have a doctorate, and if so in what subject? Did he have a medical qualification, perhaps in dentistry? Is there any truth in what is stated about his family and godfather?

  • 1
    Google's infobox is not information they have researched themselves. It's clearly labelled as sourced from biblio.co.uk. Jun 22, 2021 at 20:29
  • @JohnDallman - I was just about to thank you for this correction, but what is your reason for thinking the information "Born: 1911 (age 110 years)" comes from biblio.co.uk? It's not at the Biblio page that Google and you link to.
    – user44627
    Jun 22, 2021 at 22:19

3 Answers 3


TL;DR: Frank Rudolph Young was born April 16, 1911, in Panama City, Panama, and probably died June 24, 2002 at age 91, probably in Chicago, Illinois. His father was John A. Young and his uncle was Dr. Donald R. Young, a dentist. Frank married Gabrielle Reckinger in 1940.

The rest of this answer supports the biographical details with standard genealogical sources: census, birth/marriage/death records, immigration records, military registration, etc.

Frank immigrated to the United States under the name Frank Rodolf Young on September 10, 1928, on the ship "Santa Teresa" from Panama (Cristobal, Canal Zone) to New York City, arriving on September 17.

declaration of intention

FRY naturalization

When he sailed, he gave his occupation as student at "University of New York" and his nearest relative as father John A. Young, Box 304, Ancon, C.Z. (Canal Zone).

FRY 1928 sailing p1 FRY 1928 sailing p2

The 1930 census shows Franco R. Young, 18, as born in Panama as were both of his parents. In this census, he is lodging in Chicago with a family named Weiss.

FRY 1930 census

When he declared his intention to naturalize in early 1937, he gave his nationality as British and his race as Scotch-English. He was described as a dark-complected white male, 6 feet tall, weighing 170 pounds, with black hair and dark brown eyes. He was single at the time.

FRY declaration

On another trip in 1937, he listed his nearest relative as Dr. Donald R. Young, Box 304, Ancon, Canal Zone.

FRY 1937 sailing p1 FRY 1937 sailing p2

In 1937 he was living in Los Angeles and gave his occupation as writer, but in 1940 he was living in Chicago and gave his occupation as laborer.

In October of 1940 when he registered for the draft he listed a wife Mrs. Gabrielle Young as his next of kin.

FRY draft p1 FRY draft p2

The Cook County, Illinois Marriage Index shows a Frank R. Young married a Gabrielle Reckinger on September 30, 1940.

FRY marriage

Frank was finally naturalized in 1941.

FRY naturalization

The Social Security Death Index has a record for a Frank R. Young, born April 16, 1911, last residence Chicago, Illinois, who died on June 24, 2002 at the age of 91.


The SSDI has a record for Gabrielle Young, born Feb 15, 1909, last residence Chicago, Illinois, who died in November 1984.

I have not yet found an obituary for Frank/Franco Rudolph/Rodolf Young or Gabrielle Young.

Note that there were two Frank Rudolph Youngs in Chicago in the 1940s. The other one was born August 10, 1894, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and registered for the draft in 1942. He married Gladys F. Johnson nee Thompson in Dubuque, Iowa, on September 23, 1940, a week before the other Frank Rudolph Young got married.

In his book, Yoga Secrets for Extraordinary Health and Long Life, author Frank Rudolph Young mentions Panama and an uncle who was a dentist:

A group of American doctors with Indians in the Panama Canal Zone declared that chewing sugar-cane was fine for the health. The doctors discovered, furthermore, that the cane fibers "clean out food from between the teeth." One of the doctors had even tried it himself.

My prominent dentist uncle in Panama learned this secret from these Indians about 80 years ago. . . . My uncle used it even after studying dentistry in the United States.

Compare the photo of the author in his 60s in 1971's The Secret of Spirit-thought Magic with the photo of Frank Rudolph Young from his naturalization paperwork.

FRY author photo

About his uncle Donald:

In 1917, a Donaldo R. Young, born in 1893 in Panama, registered for the draft as a "dentist student" at Northwestern University.

DRY draft reg

In 1918, Donald R. Young married Rose Weiss in Cook County, Illinois. This is the county that Chicago is in; Weiss was also the name of the family that Franco R. Young was lodging with in 1930.

DRY marriage

In 1945, a Dr. Donald Young, age 56, Panamanian citizen, flew from Merida, Mexico, to New Orleans, and his address is given as 3933-34 Pine Grove Av., Chicago, Illinois. Also on the same flight was U.S. citizen Rose Marie Young, age 45, with address given as 3933-35 Pine Grove Av., Chicago, Illinois. "Weiss" is written next to Rose Marie's name.

DRY 1945

According to Donald's intake form, he was a dentist and was headed to Chicago to reside with his daughter Dorothy Young.

DRY 1945 intake


Ancestry.com. Illinois, U.S., Federal Naturalization Records, 1856-1991 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016. Original data: Naturalization Records. National Archives at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for Illinois, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 2012

Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897. Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls. NAI: 6256867.

Ancestry.com. California, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1959 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at San Pedro/Wilmington/Los Angeles, California; NAI Number: 4486355

Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002.

Ancestry.com. U.S., Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992 (Indexed in World Archives Project) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.

Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois Marriage Index, 1930-1960 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.

... and probably a few more I forgot to capture.

  • The images are all thumbnail-sized; you can chop off the final "m" to get a full-sized image. I'm sure there's a way to make this automatic, but probably not with the footnote-style image links.
    – shoover
    Jun 23, 2021 at 4:19
  • There is: there are two numbers in an image link, both auto-generated, use the first as given without m inth url, then copy the url + add the m, give that url a unique new number ate bottom of the src & replace the 2nd number of the img link inline with that new one. Example in src-text using the missing first link. Jun 23, 2021 at 11:01
  • Many thanks for this. Excellent work!
    – user44627
    Jun 28, 2021 at 13:39

There is a book from 1976 about Chicago area psychics by Brad Steiger where he writes about great psychics he knows personally. The only psychic he wrote about that he did not personally meet is FRYoung. Although he didn't personally meet him, he did exchange letters with him and published excerpts of them in his book - "Psychic City, Chicago : doorway to another dimension" he refers to and mentions that Young is known as as the Einstein of psychics. Check it out, it is a great read and filled with some good information about why you don't see him in public.


  • 1
    This answer doesn't seem to directly address the question of biographical information about F. R. Young. Perhaps you can include the key points from the book which answer the question.
    – Steve Bird
    May 30, 2022 at 6:44

I am the daughter of Dorothy Vollen (née Young), mentioned in shoover's post. I grew up in Chicago and was there, on and off, from 1955-1990. I never met Frank. I only recall hearing about him as a fanatical body builder. One piece of the puzzle to his reclusiveness might be the color of his skin. My mother's father (Frank's Uncle, the dentist) was a dark skinned man. And, although he declared his race as white, I doubt that was how he was seen in the world at that time. My mother, when she went to Northwestern University, was placed in a segregated dorm. Not sure if it was the color of her skin or her religion. Her mother was Rose Marie Weiss - a Jew - who married the dentist Donald Young, who she presumedly met while he was going to dental school at Northwestern. SO my mother was Jewish, in addition to being dark skinned. My guess is that Frank was also dark skinned. Whether of not this contributed to his aversion to public appearance, I can not say.


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