There was a time, believe it or not, when Atlantic City was considered the healthiest place in America. The town founder, Jonathan Pitney, was a country doctor and failed politician who, in 1850, decided to turn the southern New Jersey coast into a “city by the sea,” extolling the restorative properties of the sea air and saltwater. For decades—before the afflictions of Prohibition and organized crime, and long before the arrival of urban blight, Donald Trump, Don King, and fiscal despair—physicians from as far west as Chicago sent invalids and convalescents for recuperation. In an 1881 health-oriented publication, alongside ads for liver powder, hypophosphites syrup, and “fluid beef,” one doctor claimed the Atlantic City air could even cure malaria.
Now, more than a century later, there’s a modern-day heir to Dr. Pitney, with a Trump-like plan. And it all starts with making Atlantic City good for your health again.