O&P in the Past
O&P IN THE PAST
• O&P Profiles in History •
"Legacies for learning and for professional and public service tomorrow"
• OPAF-Veterans History Project Partnership •
• OANDP-History-L •
Bibliographies • Newspaper Articles •
• Museum Collections • Upcoming and Recent Public Lectures •
• Online Essays, Images, and Other Useful Materials •
Profiles in O&P History
"Legacies for learning and for professional and public service tomorrow"
Daniel A. McKeever
With his passion for living, Daniel A. McKeever dedicated his life to helping and caring for individuals in his community. A long-time supporter and active participant in the advancement of O&P for over 60 years, Mr. McKeever made numerous contributions to the industry as both a practitioner and a teacher.
Born in New York City in 1910, Mr. McKeever pursued his undergraduate education at Georgia Institute of Technology. Graduating in the top ten percent of his class, he earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering while working full time in the institution's cooperative education plan. Mr. McKeever's four-hundred fellow classmates elected him Senior Class Treasurer, recognizing his keen leadership abilities and dedication to serving his community. It was during this time that Mr. McKeever met his future wife, Dee Coleman, at a Georgia Tech "tea dance." Upon their meeting, Ms. Coleman realized that Mr. McKeever would be an asset to whoever crossed his path.
Following his graduation from Georgia Tech, Mr. McKeever began his career in the Coleman family's orthotics and prosthetics business. Shortly thereafter, he worked as a part time technician for J.E. Hanger, Inc., one of America's oldest artificial limb companies that traced its roots to service on behalf of Civil War veterans. Like an artist with the keenest eye for detail, Mr. McKeever crafted artificial legs and knee joints from hardwood and rawhide. Like the best practitioner, he always placed service to individuals above every other concern. Mr. McKeever's unwavering commitment to the highest standards of conduct in every circumstance contributed to his becoming the 11th prosthetist certified by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC).
In 1937 Mr. McKeever assumed the positions of Manager and Treasurer of Hanger, Mr. McKeever's contributions to the business opened the next chapter in the long and distinguished history of the company. Informed by the value he placed on both education and business practice, he guided his employees first-hand through courses shaped by the very latest technological and material innovations of the day. Mr. McKeever's dedication helped to make Hanger one the largest and most successful O&P patient care companies in our nation.
The early 1940s saw Mr. McKeever bring his education, his energy, and his professional talents to the larger community in which he and his family lived and worked. In November 1940 he reported to active duty as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army. During the course of WWII Mr. McKeever not only achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel but also received the Legion of Merit for Service for service as a stock controller of the Signal Corps. In this position Mr. McKeever introduced and successfully implemented a range of efficiencies that yielded increased production capacity alongside a reduction of personnel. As his Citation for Legion of Merit states "Lieutenant Colonel McKeever was personally responsible for many of the outstanding achievements of the Signal Corps supply system in WWII."
Following his retirement from the U.S. Army on June 30, 1946, Mr. McKeever established SPS, a company that administered patient treatment facilities as a cooperative for Hanger. Guided by Mr. McKeever's steady hand and eye, SPS prospered over time. The current success of SPS as one of America's largest O&P component distributors and fabricators is built upon the foundations he established. Mr. McKeever always combined his success at SPS with his commitment to service within the O&P community. He served very successful terms as President of the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association and as President of the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC). He served on the Board of Directors with the Hanger Orthopedic Group and remained an active consultant to SPS.
It is significant that Mr. McKeever's commitment to O&P continued until his passing in 1998.
In 1997, Mr. McKeever's family established a scholarship program in his name. Based at the O&P Educational Development Fund of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP), the program keeps alive the hope that Mr. McKeever's pioneer spirit will be remembered and honored and will serve as a beacon of inspiration to individuals who follow in his footsteps. Complete information about the Dan McKeever Scholarship Program, including application details, is available on the AAOP web site at: www.oandp.org/education/
Throughout his life, Mr. McKeever understood that education and the desire for continuous learning and public service to be the most valuable tenents every individual should nurture. Mr. McKeever's philosophy in this regard motivated his service as chairman of the Georgia Institute of Technology Development Fund, as President of the Georgia Tech National Alumni Association, as Senior Warden of St. Philips Cathedral, and as Chairman of Finance of the Atlanta Diocese of the Episcopal Church. In 1980, Mr. McKeever received from Georgia Tech its Alumni Distinguished Service Award.
Family was a priority for Mr. McKeever and a pride in his life. He had a daughter, Deenie McKeever and a son, Dan McKeever, as well as 6 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.
Mr. McKeever's contributions to improving life - indeed the quality of rehabilitation medicine, science, and technology - are contributions that we are proud to celebrate. His legacy is a foundation upon which the O&P community continues to grow today as new practitioners and teachers join the ranks. It inspires us to serve our community, our country, and our friends and neighbors with physical disabilities who, like us, strive to enjoy the rewards of personal achievement, physical fitness, and social interaction.
This bio-sketch is one in an occasional series entitled Profiles in O&P History: "Legacies for learning and for professional and public service tomorrow."
A component of the Orthotic & Prosthetic Activities Foundation's (OPAF) existing online Orthotics and Prosthetics (O&P) Awareness Program, "Profiles" features biographies of individuals who have made significant contributions both to the allied fields of orthotics and prosthetics and to their communities. Through "Profiles," the legacies of these individuals will be preserved for the benefit of future generations, so that O&P can continue to draw into it ranks individuals who uphold the highest standards in patient care, business, and public service.
Additional profiles will be included in this project as time and resources permit.
For more information about this project, or to suggest a profile, please contact OPAF at 1666 K Street NW, Suite 440, Washington, DC 20006, Tel (202) 223-8878, eFax (415) 534-1857, email
OPAF is a 501(c)(3) public charity, the official philanthropy of the U.S. orthotics and prosthetics community, established in 1995 by the Orthotic and Prosthetic National Office. Dedicated initially to providing financial and in-kind support to the 1996 Paralympics, OPAF now generates its own initiatives through partnerships with individuals, organizations and institutions engaged in raising public awareness of disability and improving the quality of rehabilitation medicine, science, and technology.
As a community-focused nonprofit organization, OPAF aims primarily to enable individuals with physical disabilities-especially those served by members of the orthotics and prosthetics community-to enjoy the rewards of personal achievement, physical fitness, and social interaction.
For complete information about OPAF programs, please contact the organization at the address noted above or visit www.opafonline.org.
Profiles in O&P History: "Legacies for learning and for professional and public service tomorrow" is © 2003 by OPAF.
OPAF-Veterans History Project Partnership
OPAF has partnered with the Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress to:
- recognize and honor all individuals in the O&P community who participated in World War I, World War II, and the Korean, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf wars, including men and women, civilian and military, from all ranks and all branches of service - the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard and Merchant Marine - as well as civilian volunteers, support staff, and war industry workers; and
- insure that stories of wartime experience and service in the O&P community are preserved for future generations in our nation's library, The Library of Congress.
As the web site of the Veterans History Project explains: "Motivated by the urgent need to collect the stories and experiences of war veterans while they are still among us, the U.S. Congress created the Veterans History Project in October 2000. The legislation calls upon the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress to collect and preserve audio- and video-taped oral histories, along with documents such as letters, diaries, maps, photographs, and home movies, of America's war veterans and those who served in support of them during World War I, World War II, and the Korean, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf wars."
OPAF invites both veterans and non-veterans of the O&P community to join this project. Volunteers are the individuals who interview war veterans and identify documents to donate. If you are a veteran, you possess a valuable resource in your war memories and military knowledge, and we especially encourage you to participate as both an interviewer and an interviewee. This online Project Kit contains all the information and forms you need to participate as a volunteer interviewer. Project Kits are also available in as hardcopy format. To receive a kit, and to learn more about this project generally, please contact Dr. Jeffrey Reznick, OPAF Executive Director and Senior Research Fellow, by or by phone at 202-223-8878.
OANDP-History-L is a moderated listserve that facilitates cross-disciplinary discussion among individuals interested and engaged in the history of orthotics and prosthetics. Contributions from undergraduates and graduate students and discussion of primary source material (diaries, letters, photographs, films, artifacts, etc.) are especially welcome.
To subscribe to MapHist, send an e-mail message, titled "SUBSCRIBE," to . Please provide your name, title, email address, and organizational affiliation in the body of your message.
All messages posted to OANDP-History-L will be archived. This information will eventually be available through this page.
OANDP-History-L is managed and moderated by Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD, OPAF Executive Director and Senior Research Fellow
OANDP-History-L is hosted by OANDP.COM - The Global Resource for Orthotics & Prosthetics Information
Bibliographies (books, essays, and journal articles)
Complied from MEDLINE/PubMed via the web site of the US National Library of Medicine
Articles on Polio, Post Polio, and Warm Springs, Georgia
by M.A.J. McKenna, staff writer, science and medicine
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
These five articles are © The Atlanta Journal Constitution and are reprinted here with permission. Further reproduction, retransmission or distribution of these materials without the prior written consent of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and any copyright holder identified in the material's copyright notice, is prohibited.
Photo illustrations are © RWSIR and courtesy of the Library and Archive of RWSIR. Special thanks to Michael Shadix, RWSIR Librarian and Archivist, for his assistance during the course of preparing this online resource.
Museums and Virtual Collections
- Learn more about O&P and the historical relationship of these fields to disability through the virtual Disability History Museum. The Disability History Museum's mission is to promote understanding about the historical experience of people with disabilities by recovering, chronicling, and interpreting their stories. The Museum's goal is to help foster a deeper understanding of disability and to dispel lingering myths, assumptions, and stereotypes by examining these cultural legacies.
- Search for more O&P-related artifacts through the National Library of Medicine's Directory of History of Medicine Collections.
- Visit the website of the National Museum of Health and Medicine to learn more about the adjustable skeleton steel leg invented by Civil War surgeon Alexander Watson.
- Visit the website of the UK's Thackray Museum to see a picture of a rare orthopedic correction frame
- Visit the Medical Museum of University of Iowa Health Care to learn more about:
Upcoming and Recent Public Lectures
For information about upcoming and recent lectures, please contact the Fund at .
Online Essays, Images, and Other Useful Materials
- Search for O&P-related images in Images from the History of Medicine (IHM). This resource provides access to the nearly 60,000 images in the prints and photograph collection of the History of Medicine Division (HMD) of the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). The collection includes portraits, pictures of institutions, caricatures, genre scenes, and graphic art in a variety of media, illustrating the social and historical aspects of medicine.