About the Cade Museum
The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention, a museum in Gainesville, Florida, is committed to transforming communities by inspiring and equipping future inventors, entrepreneurs, and visionaries. Named after Dr. James Robert Cade, the lead inventor of Gatorade, the project began in 2006 with a generous gift from Dr. Cade and his wife Mary Cade. Led by their daughter, Phoebe Cade Miles and her husband, Richard Miles, the museum began educational programming and the Cade Prize in 2010. They also started developing plans for a 21,000 square foot museum building in Gainesville’s Depot Park.
Since opening in 2018, more than 100,000 visitors have experienced the Cade’s unique hands-on programming for children designed to spark imagination and inspire creativity. The Cade’s programs also help to build bridges to the innovation economy for those without access, low-income families, underserved communities, and those needing assistance to access education and start on the career paths available to them to fulfill their dreams.
The future inspired by the past.
The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention is named for Dr. James Robert Cade, a professor of renal (kidney) medicine at the University of Florida and the lead inventor of the sports drink Gatorade.
Although he is most widely remembered for Gatorade, he was a man of many parts; a true Renaissance man. On the title page of his autobiography, Freut Euch Des Lebens (Take Joy in Life) Cade described himself as a "physician, scientist, musician, and inventor." At the time of his death in 2007, Cade had a collection of over 30 violins, (some of them dating to the 17th century) and over 60 Studebaker carriages and automobiles from the late 1800's to 1965.
He was also an accomplished writer and poet. "Great poetry," Cade once wrote, "combines music, emotion and intellect in a way nothing else can." He often quoted his favorite line from Tennyson's Ulysses "I am part of all that I have met; yet all experience is an arch where through gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades forever when I move."
In addition to Gatorade, Cade's inventions included the first shock-dissipating football helmet, a high-protein milkshake used by surgical patients, athletes, and cancer patients, and a method for treating autism and schizophrenia through diet modification. Researchers, led by Cade's former colleague Dr. Luis Juncos, are continuing his autism research at the J. Robert Cade Foundation in Cordoba, Argentina using much of Dr. Cade's data and equipment.
Dr. Cade was also a man of great faith. A lifelong Lutheran, he was the 1991 recipient of the Wittenberg Award and gave generously to many Lutheran colleges and organizations. His Christian beliefs inspired and informed everything he did, including his scientific research, hobbies, and friendships with people from all walks of life. In the last years of his life he and his wife Mary established and endowed the Gloria Dei Foundation, a small grant-giving organization focused primarily on the needs of the poor and under-served. They also helped establish the Gainesville Community Foundation, through which the Cade family, among other projects, has contributed to the building of the Fisher House (for the families of wounded veterans) in Gainesville.
Cade was born on September 26, 1927 in San Antonio, Texas. After service in the Navy at the end of World War II, he attended school at the University of Texas from 1948-1950. In 1953 he married Mary (Strasburger) Cade, a nurse from Dallas. In 1961, after completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Cornell University Hospital in New York City, Dr. Cade took a position at the University of Florida medical school, where he remained the rest of his life. Together he and Mary raised six children and helped raise twenty grandchildren. Dr. Cade died in Gainesville on November 27, 2007.