updated 12/1/2006 3:40:48 PM ET 2006-12-01T20:40:48

Rosalie Bradford, who held records for being the world’s heaviest woman and for losing the most weight, has died. She was 63.

  1. Don't miss these Health stories
    1. Splash News
      More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be?

      Rates of women who are opting for preventive mastectomies, such as Angeline Jolie, have increased by an estimated 50 percent in recent years, experts say. But many doctors are puzzled because the operation doesn't carry a 100 percent guarantee, it's major surgery -- and women have other options, from a once-a-day pill to careful monitoring.

    2. Larry Page's damaged vocal cords: Treatment comes with trade-offs
    3. Report questioning salt guidelines riles heart experts
    4. CDC: 2012 was deadliest year for West Nile in US
    5. What stresses moms most? Themselves, survey says

Bradford weighed 1,050 pounds in January 1987, according to the 1994 Guinness Book of Records. She lost 736 pounds to weigh 314 pounds in September 1992, according to the record book.

She died Wednesday at a hospital in Lakeland, about 10 miles from her Auburndale home in central Florida.

Publicist Stephen Nortier said Bradford weighed around 400 pounds just before dying. He said the cause of death won’t be known until a medical examiner’s report, but Bradford had spent the last year bedridden with complications from having her lymph nodes severed years ago.

At her largest, Bradford was 8 feet wide and took 90 minutes to bathe.

She credited Richard Simmons, the flamboyant fitness guru, with helping her lose weight. The two began corresponding after a friend of Bradford’s wrote Simmons when she tried to commit suicide.

Bradford blamed her lifelong battle with obesity on abandonment, which bred a food addiction. Her Web site claims her peak weight was more than 1,200 pounds.

“I was just like an addict — lie, cheat, steal, whatever to get my drug of choice. And my drug of choice was food,” Bradford said in a 1999 interview with The Ledger of Lakeland.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments