Berkley Bedell was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1974 and served his northwest Iowa district until 1987 when he retired from Congress due to a severe case of Lyme disease. At about the same time he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
After successfully overcoming his illnesses through non-traditional treatments, he founded The National Foundation for Alternative Medicine. He continues as its chair and is active in guiding the Washington, D.C. based foundation.
Berkley was a member of the famous post-Watergate congressional class of 75 Democrats, known as one of the most influential freshman classes ever. In Congress his interests included agriculture, commerce and foreign affairs. He chaired the House subcommittee on Department Operations, Research and Foreign Agriculture, and the Small Business Subcommittee.
Before election to Congress, Berkley operated an international fishing tackle and supplies business. He started Berkley Fly Co. as a 16-year-old by tying flies in his bedroom and selling them to bait shops near his Spirit Lake, Iowa, home. The business is now Pure Fishing and includes well-known brands Berkley Trilene line, Lightning rods, Gulp! bait, Abu Garcia reels, and Shakespeare rods, reels and Xtools.
Berkley attended Iowa State University in Ames. He left in 1942 to join the U.S. Army where he was a first lieutenant and flight instructor.
He believes solutions to the world’s problems can be found but that we must not limit ourselves by thinking inside preconceived boxes.