Walter Bowman Russell was an American polymath known for his achievements as a painter, sculptor, author and builder and less well known as a natural philosopher and for his unified theory in physics and cosmogony. He posited that the universe was founded on a unifying principle of rhythmic balanced interchange. This physical theory, laid out primarily in his books The Secret of Light and The Message of the Divine Iliad, has not been accepted by mainstream scientists. Russell asserted that this was mainly due to a difference in the assumptions made about the existence of mind and matter; Russell assumes the existence of mind as cause while he believes that scientists in general assume the existence of mind as effect. Russell was also proficient in philosophy, music, ice skating, and was a professor at the institution he founded, the University of Science and Philosophy. He believed mediocrity is self-inflicted and genius is self-bestowed. The content of his public lectures and his writing about living philosophy place him firmly in the New Thought Movement,
In 1963, Walter Cronkite in the national television evening news, commenting on Russell's death, referred to him as "... the Leonardo da Vinci of our time." After Russell died - which the Russells referred to as being "refolded" - his wife Lao Russell kept USP going successfully until she herself was refolded in 1988.