Robert Nelson

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Robert Nelson

Robert F. "Bob" Nelson[1] (October 25, 1936[2]legal death June 10, 2018[3][4]) was the first president of the Cryonics Society of California (CSC).[5] He organized James Bedford's cryopreservation in January 1967, carried out by affiliates of CSC. Bedford is the first true cryonics patient in the world.

CSC cryopreserved also several other people, but most of them thawed out in the Chatsworth incident. The main responsible for the incident, Nelson had been found out by 1979. By June 1981, a California civil court had found him guilty of "fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress," and ultimately ordered him to pay upwards of one million dollars in damages to those who brought the suit against him—Terry and Dennis Harris, Marri Bowers, and Claire Halpert, the adult children of the CSC patients who under Nelson's watch were left to thaw and decompose at Chatsworth. Some 34 years later, Nelson had yet to pay a cent.[6]

By October 1974, Nelson had quit as the president of CSC.[7] Outside of cryonics Nelson used his adoptive father's surname of Buccelli.[4] Prior to retirement Nelson's principal occupation had been to own and operate a TV repair business.[4] He wrote books We Froze the First Man (1968, as told to Sandra Stanley), and Freezing People Is (Not) Easy (2014, with Kenneth Bly and Sally Magaña).

Nelson was cryopreserved by the Cryonics Institute in June 2018, becoming CI's patient number 170.[8][9] He was straight frozen, without administration of a cryoprotectant.[10]


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