About > Executive Leadership > Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH

Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH

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Founder and Chairman

Board Certified in Preventive Medicine
Cooper Aerobics

At age 93 and having logged more than 38,000 miles running, Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, sets an example for maintaining a healthy lifestyle by exercising at Cooper Aerobics Center on a regular basis, along with his wife, Millie, daughter, Berkley, son, Tyler, and their families. Dr. Cooper serves as Chairman of six health and wellness companies and Chairman Emeritus of The Cooper Institute 501(c)(3).

8 Steps to Get Cooperized ImageFor more than 50 years, Dr. Cooper has inspired millions to exercise for good health beginning with the release of his first best-seller, Aerobics. Today Dr. Cooper is revolutionizing health and fitness again—calling on America and the world to Get Cooperized. As a leading pioneer of preventive medicine, Dr. Cooper challenges everyone to follow these “8 Healthy Steps” to live better both sooner and later: exercise most days of the week; make healthy food choices most of the time; maintain a healthy weight; take the right supplements for you; get a regular, comprehensive physical exam; manage stress and prioritize sleep; stop smoking; and control alcohol.

FitnessGram LogoA grandfather of five, Dr. Cooper is passionately involved in the fight against childhood obesity. In Texas, Dr. Cooper was instrumental in getting physical education back in schools through the passage of Senate Bill 530 that requires enhanced PE activity levels and annual physical fitness testing using FitnessGram®. Since then, The Cooper Institute has partnered with NFL to bring FitnessGram to more than 1,000 schools nationwide. Reaching across the globe, The Cooper Institute partnered with the Hungarian School Sport Federation to establish a national youth fitness assessment in Hungary. In 2015, the new fitness test was administered to approximately 934,000 children in Hungary.

Frito-Lay Baked Tostitos BagDr. Cooper has lectured in more than 50 countries and is most famous in Brazil having trained the 1970 Brazilian soccer team to a World Cup victory. As a result, jogging is translated as “coopering” in Portuguese. Dr. Cooper’s mark has also positively impacted the American diet. His collaboration with PepsiCo to eliminate trans fats from its Frito-Lay snack line started an international wave other companies have followed.


Dr. Kenneth Cooper U.S. Airforce Treadmill Stress TestDuring his 13 years of service in the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, Dr. Cooper served as a flight surgeon and director of the Aerospace Medical Laboratory. He developed the 12-minute and 1.5-mile fitness tests and the Aerobics Point System, used today by branches of the military, schools and organizations worldwide.


Aerobics Dictionary EntryIn 1970 Dr. Cooper resigned from the military and founded Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas with the mission to explore the relationship between cardiovascular fitness and health and longevity. With the popularity of Aerobics, which has been translated into 41 languages and Braille, he also coined "aerobics" and submitted the official definition to the Oxford English Dictionary. Dr. Cooper has authored 18 additional books, which combined have sold more than 30 million copies.

Read Dr. Kenneth Cooper's full biography.