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Dynamic Chiropractic – April 9, 2001, Vol. 19, Issue 08

In Memoriam - Richard C. Schafer,DC,PhD,FICC

By Frank M. Painter, DC
The chiropractic profession lost one of its most prolific authors on February 21, when Richard C. Schafer,DC,PhD,FICC, aged 71, died at his Oklahoma cottage, following a long bout with cancer. A 1952 graduate of Lincoln Chiropractic College of Indiana, Dr. Schafer was the first DC to be published by a major medical publishing company (Williams and Wilkins), and was the author of 31 non-self-published books. His first-entry was a best seller on the management of sports and recreational injuries. The success of this book opened that market to chiropractic authors thereafter.

Following his graduation, he practiced in Kenmore, New York for seven years. During that period he served the profession as a director of the New York State Federation of Chiropractic, and as managing editor of the New York Journal of Chiropractic.

In 1960, he entered the publishing business, and was the owner of a publishing house in Texas. His publications and ventures into the management/consulting field and in leadership development drew the attention of the American Chiropractic Association. Dr. Schafer assumed the post of director of public affairs for the ACA in 1973.

During his stay at ACA, he developed the first editions of the association booklets Chiropractic State of the Art and the ACA Policies on Public Health and Related Matters. As director of public affairs from 1973 to 1979, he also helped to enhance public awareness of chiropractic with 20 new works, explaining chiropractic principles and ACA resolutions.

Between 1973 and 1993, most of his books were published by the ACA. He also published books for the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research, NCMIC and the Motion Palpation Institute. He was a consultant for the World Book Encyclopedia, Who's Who in Chiropractic, and the National Textbook Company. By 1993, the last year ACA reported sales to Dr. Schafer, he had generated an astounding $2,809,879 in gross profits for those publishers!

In 1974, the ACA Board of Directors honored him with the "Outstanding Service Recognition" award. He was also inducted as a Fellow of the International College of Chiropractors (FICC). He was a founding member of the Association for the History of Chiropractic. In the 1980s, he also penned a series of articles for Dynamic Chiropractic, receiving the "Certificate of Journalistic Appreciation" from them in 1988, and being honored by DC again in 1989 with the "Special Journalist" award. He received the "Presidential" award from the ACA for outstanding contributions to the profession in 1992.

Dick was a second-generation chiropractor, following his father, Dr. John Schafer. He liked to share stories of having seen B.J. Palmer while on campus. B.J. was quite taken by Dick's father, because John was a blind chiropractic student!

Dr. Schafer is survived by four children (Scott Edward, Clark Kirby, Jill Darcy) and Lynn Carol Miller) and two granddaughters. His mentorship and educational contributions to this profession will be long remembered.

I first met Dr. Schafer via e-mail in 1997, after requesting his permission to link to his rehabilitation monographs for the LINKS section at the Chiropractic Resource Organization's website ( He graciously gave me copies of those chapters to post on our site. In mid-1998, he asked me if I would be interested in maintaining his ACAPress website (, then bequeathed me the copyrights to all his published works. During those years, we exchanged many posts. I admit I have never met a more humble or dedicated professional.

To honor his memory, I am forming the nonprofit Richard Schafer Memorial Fund. All contributions, as well as proceeds from the sale of his previous books and his books on disk, will be donated to FCER to fund chiropractic research. If you would like to support this concept, Iwelcome further contact.

Dick's last request was that I publish this in his honor:

Epitaph of R.C. Schafer

And some stood proudly erect, on a level some higher than their previous station, now where the viewpoint was different and said,

"Oh captain, my captain." And he said softly,

"Thank you," and took his leave.

Paraphrased from "The Dead Poets Society."

Frank M. Painter,DC
7 South Waiola
La Grange, IL 60525
Tel: (708) 482-0155

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Æ Goethe

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